The Ledbury – Fine Dining – London
In recent times I have been remiss in updating you on my forays into the world of fine dining, a few months ago I had journeyed down to London to the Ledbury and wrote this article without actually posting it!
Sitting at the 10th best restaurant in the world, according to San Pellegrino, as well as a long standing 2* Michelin Stars indicates some serious cooking happens in Notting Hill. Despite the acclaim the restaurant itself is certainly modest, an understated but classy dining space. A 7 course tasting menu sets you back £115, but not before a number of canapés of course.
Formal proceedings kicked off with a light dish; slivers of baked, white beetroot providing a contrast to smoked and dried mackerel. Next up was a very pretty dish of Jerusalem artichoke. The sweet nutty little root was paired excellently with an umami hit from some caviar…all neutralised by some soured cream.
A number of component parts arrived next with the central theme very much forest-al. Truffled toast, sat upon a log before it was devoured in one mouthful, a mix of comfort food and decadence. A little teapot then appeared to share its payload of wild mushroom consommé with a bowl of buffalo curd.
The intense flavour from the broth was certainly woody and earthy. Arguably the best looking dish of the meal was the Cornish prawn and leek one that arrived next. The white wine sauce was very good and the seafood excellently cooked as one would expect. It was followed but something much more rich and meaty. A little shard of crackling was an overload of salt and flavour into a deep piggy flavour from pork jowl. The foils of pear and celeriac enhanced the dish but didn’t cute through the meat, I’d have liked something sharper.
The ‘main’ course was very precisely presented Chinese water deer that had many little elements. The deer itself was perfectly cooked; the silky, decadent smoked bone marrow was particularly good and stood out amongst the other components on the plate. Everything else was good and no fault in the cooking to be found. Overall I felt the plate had a combination of a number of very good items but lacked a coherence to bring it all together.
The final dish was a very tasty dessert but lacked the refinement of earlier courses. Caramelised banana was paired with passion fruit and peanut butter. Bringing things together that hadn’t been balanced in one dish does require skill, I just expected more and it wasn’t in keeping with the rest of the menu for me.
Service was exemplary throughout, having mentioned it was an occasion in a passing comment we were presented with an extra course with congratulations. It was the perfect mixture of attentive and chatty, not too formal…which can often be the case.
You would find it hard to find a better consistency and execution than was experienced at the Ledbury, for that it is rightfully up there in the UK and global food scene. My personal view is that I want to be more excited by food and flavours than I was at this meal, in a couple of years will I remember many (any?) of the dishes I had? I’m not sure I would.
Restaurant website: http://www.theledbury.com/