Review Score: 88 / 100.
Undoubtedly one of the toughest restaurant bookings to secure in London, the Ledbury is very much worth the effort, especially for the relatively affordable 4 course lunch menu at 50 quid. Being in a rather celebratory mood with my upcoming name day (or birthday for the unitiated to the Game of Thrones, which is awesome I might add), I reckon I’ll splurge a bit more for the ala carte menu, which had a more interesting array of dishes.
We started off with some amuses, the first of which was a Japanese inspired seaweed crisp with some form of miso cream, packed with a good dose of umami.
The next amuse was a guinea fowl puff, which was quite flavourful albeit a bit bizarre with the puff filled with some sort of cream infused with the flavour of the meat, without actual chunks of meat in it. Although both were decent, I reckon the amuses at Gordon Ramsay’s from the night before were a tad more memorable.
For the first course, I had the hand-dived scallops, ceviche, shaved turnip horseradish and sorrel. The scallops was cooked as a ceviche i.e. marinated with some form of citrus juice e.g. lemon, of which the citric acid would cook the scallops to an extent. The horseradish component was made into an “ice” or sorbet of sorts. A refreshing starter, to say the least.
Next, I had the warm Bantam’s egg with celeriac, dried ham, Arbois and summer truffle. The egg was perfectly cooked and runny, and the dish was warm and earthy with the addition of the celeriac and truffles in it.
My dining companion had a flame grilled mackarel with pickled cucumber, celtic mustard and shiso. The dish was redolent of the grilled fishes in Japanese cuisine, with the perfectly crispy fish skin and luscious flesh beneath. An honorable mention as I thought this dish was definitely one of the highlights of the meal.
For the meat course, I had the Iberico pork, carrot juice, girolle mushrooms and crackling. The pork loin was cooked perfectly, and the crackling was decadent and always a nice addition to any dish, just like the God-like substance known as bacon. Girolles were also well prepared. Overall, one of the better meat dishes during the course of my trip.
I ended the meal with a very well made brown sugar tart with stem ginger ice cream. The richness of the tart paired nicely with the spice from the ginger. One the chef’s most popular desserts, and I could understand why! Awesomeness, but I’m always a sucker for the sweet stuff.
The restaurant surprised us with a final dessert course, which was an adequate enough sponge cake with meringue shards and fresh fig. Not particularly mind blowing though.
Great way to cap off the trip to London. Food was excellent and the quality of the ingredients are top notch, and I dare say they may be deserving of a 3rd Michelin star. And in any case, decent value for money at an inventive and ingredient driven restaurant.
Location: 127 Ledbury Road, Notting Hill, London, W11 2AQ. +44(0)20 7792 9090. Website. (Take the tube to Notting Hill, and walk for another 10 min)