I was recently treated to a complimentary meal at Gow’s by a friend and boy was it some of the best food I’ve tasted since moving to London. Gow’s is best known as an oyster bar and has been an institute in the city for 125 years now but hidden down the stairs is a wonderfully cosy and quiet restaurant where you can indulge in the freshest of seafood.
We started out with a couple of glasses of wine while we perused the menu but it wasn’t long before we were presented with some of the most amazing berry flavoured champagne cocktails that slipped down a little too well if you know what I mean.
I could quite happily have tried pretty much any of the fish dishes on the menu but when my dining companion ordered the salmon fishcakes with cucumber yoghurt and skinny fries I settled on the smoked haddock which came with creamed potatoes, leek puree and a soft poached egg. For a higher class of restaurant than I can usually afford to eat at I was expecting the presentation to be artsy and perhaps the portions to be a little on the small side. I’m happy to say while I was correct about the former I was entirely wrong about the latter I mean just look at this gorgeous plate of deliciousness!
A good inch of creamy mashed potato topped with the thickest piece of smoked haddock I think I’ve ever seen topped with a perfectly poached egg. It was divine. My only complaint (if you can call it a complaint…) is that there was too much and I couldn’t finish it all and still hope to leave room for pudding at the same time! So I gave up about two-thirds of the way through. In hindsight I should have asked for a doggy bag to take home, it was that delicious.
I’d already been pre-advised to order the bread and butter pudding so that’s exactly what I went for. Turns out it’s the chef’s mums secret recipe and a mighty fine one at that if I do say so myself. The secret is that instead of using raisins or sultanas the pudding is layered with apricots again it came beautifully presented to the point where I almost didn’t want to dig in…I said almost! It was seriously good. As a hater of all things dried fruit related it was nice to not have to pick bits out of my pudding as I went and I really enjoyed the fruity flavour that the apricot brought to the pudding. Naturally after such a large main I couldn’t finish this off either but that was not a slight on the yumminess of it at all.
The service at Gow’s was great, very discreet and not at all overbearing which you sometimes get in upmarket restaurants like this. As mentioned this was a treat from a friend so I have no idea how much the total bill was but I’m fairly certain it was higher than the places I have given an £££ rating. That said what you get at Gow’s is quality fresh cooked food and is excellent value for the money that you pay. Definitely somewhere to try if you’re looking for a good fish dish. (Although do note that the restaurant only operates Monday to Friday and is not open at weekends.)
81 Old Broad Street