Eating out / Food / Las Vegas / travel / TV shows / USA

Las Vegas: BurGR … a taste of Gordon Ramsay

I admit it – I’ve been sucked in by the current trend of foodie reality shows. I’ve often mentioned to my husband (and he to I for he is also a sucker for these shows) how interesting it would be to taste the food of the ‘celebrity’ chefs so we could understand their palate more.

Gordon Ramsay's restaurant at the Paris

Gordon Ramsay is probably the most well known or at least most famous of the current batch of celebrity chefs, with Masterchef USA and Hell’s Kitchen among his recent shows. I discovered he had quite a presence in Vegas … a British Pub in Caesars Palace, an American Burger joint in Planet Hollywood and what looks like a third restaurant – Steak – in the Paris. He sure does get around! So my request to my besties was if we do nothing else can we at least try one of Gordon’s restaurants as I was curious about the taste of his cuisine.

Now I know some people might say “who cares … he’s just a tv star.” and perhaps you’re right, but he was (is) a real chef … you don’t get Michelin stars for swearing at people in front of a TV camera, and I would like to think despite the showmanship he still does take a leading role in the development of cuisine at all his restaurants. Great chefs palates fascinate me. I like to know how their food tastes as it helps me understand why the make decisions on dishes (whether celebrity or not).

So off to BurGR we went to try a Gordon Ramsay developed American classic. I was a little shocked by the Hooter-esque waitstaff at the restaurant but given it was in Planet Hollywood and an American cuisine experience, I suppose it is appropriate. The venue was quite informal, but nicely designed and very relaxing with a fun vibe. We all loved the live flame across the front of the restaurant. I also enjoyed the open view of the kitchen; we enjoyed watching the preparation going on.

As the name suggests, the specialty of this restaurant are the burgers, so that is what we decided to try. I had the Hell’s Kitchen burger (shown above). It had a bit of bite to it with roasted jalapeno’s. The meat in the burger was cooked and seasoned perfectly, the cheese and avocado were creamy and offset the kick of chilli from the jalapeno. I found it simply delicious. It met my expectation of a gourmet burger. At US$15 it wasn’t cheap, but by Hong Kong standards it would be a comparable price to a gourmet burger, so I didn’t feel it was expensive given the name behind the brand.

The Uber cheese burger (background of the photo above), according to Ange, lived up to its name and was indeed Uber. Her comments were “Super Delicious” and “Cheesy Goodness”. She’s also a self-confessed food critic, so the praise doesn’t come lightly.

The Damnation chicken burger (front of picture above) was ok, but the blue cheese didn’t impress Shirlz.

Fries cost extra, so we got some to share – Just Fries (US$8) – which came with a chipotle ketchup and curry ketchup. They were sadly underwhelming and even more surprisingly under-seasoned for all three of our tastes. The sauces were ok, with the curry ketchup being my favorite, however we just felt there was something missing in terms of punch from both the sauces.

The prize of this particular restaurant however are the shakes.

Oh … My …. GOD!!

With 5 different shakes to choose from they were all as tempting as each other. We decided to order 3 different shakes to maximise our experience. They were slow to arrive, taking longer than the burger to get to us, but oh … worth the wait!

Visually and orally stunning, my iPhone camera doesn’t do them the justice the deserve.

In order from left to right:

Strawberry with Coconut Pudding and chocolate biscuit…
Fresh. Creamy rich. Smooth.

Cream brûlée with Oreo shake…
Pretty damn fine. A pleasure to drink.

Banana with Snicker Doodle shake…
You could taste the freshness of the banana. Divine. A joy to drink.

A dessert combined with a shake was a wonderful twist. At US$9 a shake, they were worth the indulgence. I’d go back JUST for the shakes.

This experience has helped me define what Ramsay expects in terms of ‘heat’ and ‘spice’ in his food. While this isn’t Michelin style dining, it does meet the level of quality in ingredients I expected for the most part, and makes me curious to try one or Ramsay’s higher end establishments in the future.

It was a fun experience, more-so when our waitress was completely confused by the fact Titus had ‘joined us’ via skype video to share in the adventure, and one I hope to do again with Titus by my side next time. 🙂

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