This past weekend was an unseasonably unplanned weekend for us, and so we took advantage of a family weekend and did lots of fun "London" things together.
One of these was an exquisite lunch at Gordon Ramsays' Union Street Cafe in Borough.
It was in such a different locale to the other two we've been to so far (Bread Street Kitchen and Maze Grill) but the Union Street Cafe has such a Melbourne charm to it that we just adored.
From the grungy-come-hipster surrounds to the artistically unfinished decor, we felt like we could have easily been right back home in Hawthorn East.
I have quite the wish list of Gordon restaurants to try out, so it was such a thrill to tick another one off my list.
Being a Sunday it was unusually quiet, but it allowed us a little more space and relaxedness for having a toddler there. I am more nervous about dining with a toddler than I am about flying with one, but I needn't have worried, she was an angel.
I came armed with pencils, stickers, plenty of food and even an iPad just in case, ands she sat happily for two hours chomping away on the speciality breads and playing with her butterfly stickers.
(don't you want to put a ball in her hand??)
Now, onto the food. Oh gosh was it every bit as good as I was expecting. It was a modern Italian style menu, with lots of classics served up in exciting and unexpected ways. We splashed out a little and indulged in three courses, because, well, with a menu like this, I challenge you to only select two items!
I started with a stuffed courgette, filled with burrata and lime, which was so fresh and delicate. The spinach purée was amazing, the best tasting spinach I've ever had that's for sure!
Pete ordered the calamari fritti, which, even though it wasn't gluten free, I had to have a tiny little taste of, just to be sure it was okay. It was divine! The crumbing was peppery and the perfect light crunch, and the octopus was cooked to perfection. Even the simple salad it came with was so fresh and full of flavour, it tasted like actual real food!
For mains I was a little limited with gluten free options but was only too happy to order the Strawberry Risotto. Strawberries in a risotto?! I know, but it worked! Served with a balsamic reduction it was perfectly balanced and not at all too sweet.
Pete ordered the ravioli, which was served in a fresh tomato base and was apparently delicious, but lets get to dessert!
I had a Lemon Thyme Pannacotta and Pete went with a Lemon Cremoso with a pecan crunch. I've never made a Pannacotta before, but am definitely going to try now! This was insanely good. The fragrance of the lemon thyme was divine. I'm definitely going to play with this herb some more too!
Petes' Lemon Cremoso was so tangy and fresh it was the perfect end to a summery lunch. I'd never had a Cremoso before now, but can highly recommend them!
Oh and a final note, they were incredibly child-friendly, to the point of child-welcoming! Kids eat free on the weekends, there are change facilities, highchairs and they even had a selection of Frozen colouring in pages for Maddie to draw on too. It really felt like a place that Mum's and Dad's could go to for a nice meal as a family, without worrying the entire time that they were causing trouble.
If you are a (tiny bit of a) Gordon Ramsay fan (read: a Ramsay Enthusiast) or really just a fan of darn good food in London, I highly recommend trying the Union Street Cafe. The service was wonderful, and although we had eaten three courses, we left wanting more! If I didn't still leave two more Gordon restaurants on my "Dining Bucket List" I would definitely be going back to the Union Street Cafe again soon!!