Monday, June 20, 2011

london eats: the ledbury

The Ledbury
127 Ledbury Road
Notting Hill, London
W11 2AQ
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7792 9090


Planning the places to dine at in London was a whole lot of fun and I would say, rather crazy. R & I packed our schedule full of restaurants that we wanted to try and I honestly thought that I would be sick by the end of the London leg. I was wrong cos it turned out that the current dining scene in London is extremely vibrant and with proper planning, every meal could turn out to be new and exciting! Dining at The Ledbury was a bright spark of the trip and I will remember that for a long time to come.

Whilst R already knew where he wanted to dine at cos he had been researching and planning the trip for the longest time, I had to scour through new foreign blogs because I wasn't very well informed on the European dining scene. When I was doing that, The Ledbury stood out for a number of reasons. The first was obviously its reputation; the restaurant has 2 Michelin Stars and is ranked 34 on the San Pallegrino World's Best 50 Restaurants list this year. The second was that I didn't come across any review that had any drastically negative comments. The third was the reasonable price for the set lunch; £33.50 for 3 course and £27.50 for the 2 course. The last was because the chef, Brett Graham was originally from Australia and I just wanted to find out what the Australian dining scene lost when Graham packed his bags for London. I believe the pictures below can speak for themselves.

Canape: Foie Gras Parfait on a Ginger Biscuit

The canape was lovely but the bread was even better! A lot of the bread we had throughout the trip was served cold and were the standard white, rye etc. etc. I usually try not to eat too much bread anyways so that I wouldn't be too full for the rest of the meal but I just couldn't resist the bread here, especially the Bacon & Onion Brioche! It was so soft, so tasty and warm! I had 2 in the end but I could have easily wolfed down 10 on my own. Thank goodness the glutton in me did not take over here. 

 Bacon & Onion Brioche & Olive Wholemeal

Raviolo of Rabbit with Wild Mushrooms, Prune cooked in Lapsang Souchong
and Brown Bread Sauce

This was my favourite dish out of the 3 course lunch menu. The dish was seasoned perfectly, the skin of the ravioli was thin and the brown bread sauce (quintessentially British!) was something new and interesting for me.

 Ceviche of Hand Dived Scallops with Seaweed & Herb Oil,
Kohirabi & Frozen Horseradish

R opted for the ala carte menu instead and made the excellent choice of the ceviche. The dish was so full of flavour and amazingly, the horseradish did not mask the sweetness of the scallops. I loved the cool sensation of the dish in my mouth.

 Roast Monkfish with Pumpkin Polenta, Shellfish Emulsion & Yuzu

The fish from the second course of the set menu was cooked perfectly. There were quite a number of components in the dish that came together nicely but also stood nicely on their own. I really like the shellfish emulsion of mussels and squid and the yuzu was a nice uplifting touch.

 Breast of Guinea Fowl with Rye Grist, Broad Beans,
Hop Shoots & a Velouté of Toasted Croissant

I honestly didn't know how to photograph this dish when it arrived in front of R. I think we were both puzzled for a while because we had never seen such a "messy" plate in a fine dining restaurant. Art on a plate maybe? Whatever it is, mess or no mess, it was a plate full of deliciousness. The most intriguing part about the dish was the croissant sauce! Imagine having to bake a buttery croissant only to have it cooked down to a sauce with more butter and cream and finally drizzled all over the plate. YYUUMMMM...

 Crème Caramel with Apricot & Jasmine

 Brown Sugar Tart with Grapes & Stem Ginger Ice Cream

Both desserts were simple but provided a solid finish to the end of the meal. The Brown Sugar Tart was the better of the two and I really loved the Stem Ginger Ice Cream. Right at the end, the Petit Fours came in a nice little tin box which I secretly wanted to bring home with me. For the record, I didn't do that. Really.

Petit Fours

It is nice to see an Aussie chef excel outside of the country he was raised in but it's a little sad that people back "home" can't all get to taste his food unless they fly all the way to London. Maybe the Sydney Food Festival should consider getting Graham in some time?? Anyone hear me?

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