Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Ledbury, London

The Ledbury might just be the most respected restaurant in London right now - I won't say it's the "hottest" table, since perhaps Dabbous and Viajante can lay claim to that title - but certainly it's a restaurant that has been well-respected and liked by almost everyone in the food scene in London and by many of my friends who have had the fortune of dining there. Brett Graham, the chef, has been lauded as a true star, well-known for his innovative, creative cuisine - and being so young. Oh, the Ledbury also holds 2 Michelin stars, by the way. And getting a reservation here was tough - I had to book about 1-2 months in advance. So it was with great expectation that we made our way west to Ledbury Road in Notting Hill.

The dining room was pretty nice - big and spacious with wood panelling on the walls and a high ceiling. Pretty elegant and not stuffy at all.

The service, while excellent, paled slightly in comparison to Gordon Ramsay which I visited the day before.

We began with an amuse bouche - this was foie gras tart - a good starter, no doubt.

We were offered a selection of either the lunch menu at 35 quid, or to order from the Ala Carte Menu. I went with the set lunch with an additional course from the Ala-Carte (the grilled mackerel, which is apparently one of their specialties).

heirloom tomatoes with goat's cheese salad
The first course I had was heirloom tomatoes with goat's cheese salad. This was delicious - the tomatoes were fresh and sweet as they should be, and contrasting well with the creaminess of goat's cheese which was wrapped in pastry sheets. I enjoyed this summer helping. (8/10)

mackerel with shiso
Next was the dish I ordered from the ala carte menu, which was the flamed mackerel with avocado puree and shiso. A lovely dish - the mackerel was well cooked, oily, cut through by some herb (cumin?) and flavoured well - the skin being crisp and tasty. The addition of fried shallots was a nice touch, and balanced by some cucumbers and greens which were fresh. A long aftertaste - that was what I recorded down. Good dish. (8.5/10)

sea bass with broccoli stem and black quinoa
After that, I had the main course - which was a sea bass with broccoli stem and black quinoa. The fish had good texture and contrasted well with the quinoa on top - with the sauce complementing well. To be honest, this was a bit tame after the strong flavours of the mackerel. (7.5/10)

passionfruit souffle

We shared a passionfruit souffle which was excellent - one of the best desserts of my entire trip. The passionfruit flavours were fresh, zesty, and shone through the souffle which was light and fluffy. Excellent dessert and well worth the calories. (9/10)

watermelon panna cotta

What didn't fare so well was the watermelon with panna cotta - which was just so; not very exciting though certainly quite refreshing.  (7/10)

cheese platter

We ended off with some cheese from La Fromagerie, all of which was excellent. 

From my dining experience at the Ledbury, I'd say this is a strong contender for London's next 3 star restaurant, whenever it arrives. The food is excellent with some standouts, the price not too exorbitant, with good service and atmosphere. Highly recommended.

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