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Two words have been reveberating around the London food scene for the past two weeks: Salt Bae.
He’s the meme-powered, Gemma Collins-hosting restaurateur whose new London opening has been the ever-so-aghast talk of the town. He’s also the man responsible for the £100 burger that left our critic extremely underwhelmed.
That’s not even the worst of it: the internet has been ablaze with amusement and bemusement over news of the £630, gold-covered steak, £11 Red Bulls, and all the rest of it. Collins is said to have spent almost £1500 on her meat.
But if you do have whole heap of cash that you’ve grown rather indifferent to, and are keen to shift it, Bae’s restaurant isn’t your only option. Here, we’ve rounded up five of the most flamboyantly excessive meals and drinks in the capital, all of which are primed for an assault on your wallet. Spend away.
1849 Burger, Gordon Ramsay Burger — £80
With the prices at Mr Bae’s restaurants in mind, seeing a piece of meat with a price tag smaller than three figures might make you feel like you’ve just got a tax rebate — but in the context of the normal world, £80 is still a hefty chunk of cash to hand over. This is the most expensive burger on the menu at the Harrod’s branch of Gordon Ramsay’s chain, and to be fair, it does pack some premium ingredients: wagyu beef, 12-year balsamic vinegar and lots of truffle. It beats a Maccies, that’s for sure — although, as this paper’s David Ellis told the chef on being asked for his opinion of it: “Gordon, it’s a burger. And it’s 80 quid. What do you think I think of it?”
Kitchen Table tasting menu — £250
If handing over £250 for a restaurant without a menu (plus £125 for matching wines) sounds like a risky endeavour, then there are few places in the capital that we’d suggest you trust more than Kitchen Table. The dishes at this two Michelin-starred restaurant change most days, depending on which ingredients are available. The whole thing is cooked and explained in front of the diners sitting around a horseshoe-shaped table, and the vibe is always a genial one. If you can afford it, take the plunge — just leave an evening for it, there are 20 courses to get through.
Sushi “Omakase” Chef’s Set Menu, The Araki — £310
Imagine the polar opposite of the supermarket sushi you’d wolf down during a lunch break on a busy Tuesday, and you’ll still not come close to the kind of fare you can expect at this Soho establishment. Previously a three Michelin-starred gaff — until its founder Mitsuhiro Araki moved on to a new venture a couple of years ago — the place retains that feel of exclusivity now: there are only two sittings per night, with 10 guests at each, and it all adheres strictly to the traditional tea ceremony style of Japanese hospitality.
Golden Tips Tea Experience For Two, The Rubens at the Place — £500 for two
Tea that costs half a grand needs to deliver on the luxury, and this one certainly does its best: the rare tips are handpicked in Sri Lanka and sundried on a velvet cloth, and when they’ve made their way to the restaurant, they’re weighed on golden scales and placed into a silver teapot using golden tweezers. The tea itself is then presented in a velvet-lined mahogany box. The £500 voucher includes the tea for two people, as well as a bottle of Lanson Champagne, but for sandwiches, scones and all the other usual acoutrements, you’ll need to spend a further £45 per person.
Harewood House, The Savoy — £12,000
You don’t have to search too extensively to find expensive drinks on the menu of the Savoy’s Beaufort Bar, but by far the most bank-emptying pour comes in the form of the Harewood House rum: a cool 12 grand per 50ml shot. There is some method to the madness — dating back to 1780, it’s thought to be the oldest rum in existence. It’s just about as extravagant as you can get when it comes to drinking in London, and how about this for a chaser: with a service charge of 12.5%, you’re looking at a £1500 tip.