Maze restaurant continues to shine a little brighter than the other starry establishments in the Gordon Ramsay firmament. The sleek, handsome room with curved wood veneer and cream leather seating is cheerfully light-filled and offers pleasing leafy views over Grosvenor Square. The set lunch menu is brilliant: from a list of around 13 dishes you can select any four, five or six courses as desired.
Lighter savoury fare such as heritage tomato gazpacho with compressed cucumber and pepper purée is listed first, heavier dishes later, including our roasted barbary duck served with English cherries and roast parsley root (also known as hamburg parsley - an under-utilised vegetable in this country though common in Scandinavia). The duck was straightforward, almost homely, so too confit shoulder of lamb with pea purée, but you can expect plenty of creativity too. Typical is the prawn cocktail, with delightfully translucent shellfish, a foam version of the classic marie rose sauce, and impressively savoury-tasting lettuce granita on top.
'Warm Scottish breakfast' paired cured salmon with quail egg, a tiny slice of bacon and creamy soft smoked haddock risotto. For dessert we chose a tongue-in-cheek Arctic roll - just like the original but made with premium ingredients - and a serious contender for the title of London's best rice pudding, made with clotted cream for extra richness, and topped with pecan ice-cream and maple syrup.
Friendly, aproned waiters were keen to please, yet maintained a dignified professionalism - spot on, really. A tour of the capacious and surprisingly subdued kitchen, where the chef's table is a popular setting for special meals, may be offered before leaving.