Usually I wouldn't be able to afford to eat out for an expensive night of fine dining. But the other day I got the chance!

My boyfriend, Roman, received a gift certificate to eat out at one of Gordon Ramsay's restaurants, and after scanning the menus and various blogs for advice on which one to go to - we chose Maze. And boy am I glad we did.

For some reason I was inexplicably nervous when we approached the entrance (maybe because I don't get to visit many high-end restaurants), but the atmosphere was totally relaxed and welcoming I soon brushed that off at the door.

Upon arrival we were greeted with our waiter who took us through the menu options (the Chef's set menu or the A la carte in which you're advised to order two dishes per page.) We opted for the A la carte and studied the choices over and over before deciding. There was no rush from the waiter to order, and in the meantime the drinks waitress took our order for the wine. Unfortunately the two different bottles of Riesling that we asked for weren't in stock, but third time lucky she suggested another Riesling they did have. It was at a higher price which cost half of the voucher - but it was worth it. The Riesling Reserve, Trimbach 2007 was beautifully crisp and light with aromatic hints and as the night went on I noticed the full fruity flavours like peach, apple and lime. This was a perfect accompaniment for the dishes we ordered, especially the seafood.

Now for the food...

Round 1:
Quail, kohlrabi, cauliflower in ‘ras el hanout’, burnt onion reduction. Roman: "perfectly cooked, very gamey and the 'ras el hanout' cauliflower was a delightful new experience and the right accompaniment".

Salcombe crab, brown crab and toast sorbet, sea herbs, pickled black radish, apple vinaigrette: a really playful take on textures and temperatures with the sorbet, crab, salad leaves and radishes. Stunning presentation and colours.

Round 2:
Braised Dedham Vale lamb shoulder, wild garlic risotto, onion powder.

Confit of wild mallard, raspberry gel, walnuts and compressed celery: the mallard flaked into chunky bitesize pieces and the raspberry gel gave the dish a juicy finish.

Round 3:
Roasted hake in cured ham, chorizo and pimento purée, squid paint

Roasted sea bream, cauliflower and broccoli, mushroom cereal:. This was incredible how the balance of the crisp outer skin and the softness of the sea bream worked together to make a perfect melt-in-your-mouth moment.

Round 4:
Suffolk pork ‘cheek ‘n belly’, spiced pumpkin jam, red cabbage, crispy crackling

Roasted Muntjac deer, pine nut purée, baby beets, oats, seeds and juniper: extremely gamey giving off a strong earthy flavour which was accentuated by the catalyst - the juniper sauce!

Devonshire rice pudding, spiced blackberry jam, clotted cream and blackberry ripple ice cream which was scooped onto the rice pudding by the waiter from a tiny saucer.

Bitter chocolate délice, honey gelatine, honeycomb ice cream: devilish rich flavours and layered textures that worked beautifully together. It was really fun to eat as well!

Although the portions of the dishes were slight, the meal was still filling. I think that had more to do with the pacing inbetween each course leaving us to enjoy the experience, the wine and readily provided the fresh bread sticks and rolls.

The wine waiter inconspicuously kept our wine glasses topped up, and despite being told there was a maximum of two hours to be at the table - we ended up spending double that with no sense of being rushed.

The layout and interior design is classy, comfortably spacious and big on leather and wood. (On a side note, the toilets were also impressive. Single rooms rather than a communal one, with little hand towels in separators built into the wall, and Molton Brown handwash and moisturiser.)

If you're not shy of big expenditures then this will be right up your street, but if the prices are too steep try and drop hints for friends/family to get you a voucher for your birthday because it's so very worth eating at Maze; for the culinary precision, the remarkable service and an all round aMAZEing experience!

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