The threatened train strikes just before Easter encouraged us to take to the skies to visit relatives over the bank holiday. I wouldn’t choose to fly too often but, not only was it significantly cheaper than travelling cattle class on the train, the whole experience was much more pleasant.

Husband booked a table at Gordon Ramsey’s Plane Food in Terminal 5 at Heathrow. The restaurant has had mixed reviews, but on the whole our experience was very good and we both agreed that it was a nice start to our long weekend. Although the spectre of the teething troubles at Terminal 5 refuses to go away, on the few times I’ve travelled through there, I’ve found it considerably lighter, brighter and lot less stressful than the other terminals at Heathrow.

The restaurant is at the rear of the terminal, facing a glass wall that fronts onto several flight gates, so the view is perfect if you’re a plane spotter, or – like me – partial to dreaming of jetting off to exotic locations. Consequently, the restaurant space is pleasantly light and airy too. We were seated at the back by the windows because we’d booked, I think, which is worth knowing for the future, as the other tables in the main part of the restaurant were packed in close together. That said, even at 18:30 on Maundy Thursday, it certainly wasn’t busy and we could easily have got a table without booking.

We travelled to the airport separately after work, so I ordered a G&T which I have to say was one of the best I’ve had recently. The service was pleasant, but not particularly speedy – we had to ask several times to order and pay, which was frustrating, especially as they weren’t particularly busy. I was also a bit surprised that we weren’t asked to confirm our flight time, but this wasn’t a huge problem as we had left plenty of time.

Husband and I both ordered off the a la carte, which includes 7-8 main courses. Unlike the rest of Ramsey’s empire, there’s nothing fancy on offer here: just good honest pub classics with a twist. Roasted cod, polenta chips, peas and spicy ketchup (£12.95) or Suffolk pork cutlet, black pudding and an apple compote (£12.50), for example, both of which seem fairly priced, especially given the location.

Dedham Vale Steak

I ordered the Dedham Vale rib-eye steak (£21.50) which was served with red wine shallot butter and onion rings. Sadly the steak wasn’t really warm enough to melt the butter, which I had to smear on the meat, but the onion rings and the accompanying tub of excellent chips (crispy outside, fluffy middle, perfectly seasoned) more than made up for this.

All deserts are priced at £5.50, and we both ordered the Champagne Yorkshire rhubarb fool with short bread. As you can see from the picture, it looked too good to delay eating and tasted just as good. Sometimes the simple things are the best: this was probably the highlight of the meal.

Champagne Rhubarb Fool

The wine list includes a good number of bins available by the glass (175ml), seven whites and seven reds ranging from £4.50 to £8, which is always encouraging to see. Although there are no 250ml glasses on offer, all these wines were also available in a 375ml carafe, an excellent option if – like us – you’re just grabbing a quick meal before a flight and don’t want a whole bottle.

As it happened, we both fancied different things. The Tinpot Hut 2009, Sauvignon Blanc, from Marlborough accompanied Husband’s salmon perfectly. It had a lovely minerality and herbaceous notes, balanced really well with ripe tropical fruits which I wouldn’t necessarily expect to see at this price point. The “Crozes Hermitage 2006, Jaboulet, France” (no more details given) was rich, silky and dominated by black fruit.

If you’re passing through T5, give it a go.

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