Sunday, 11 July 2010

The Ledbury, London



With two Michelin stars, and much hype via foodie friends on Twitter, it was with excitement that we dined at The Ledbury last Saturday evening. The day was hot and sunny and on arrival, we were given the option of sitting outside.They only book the interior, and if it’s a nice night, you have the option of eating on the terrace under the large parasols, which makes for a super setting and ambience. Something to bear in mind if you’re happy to eat indoors and wanted to make a late decision for a good meal out.

Girls were given a bag hook to store their handbag securely – a nice touch I thought!


We began with a pre-amuse bouche of, well, we called it fish and chips, but it was essentially a crab (I think) puree on fried, crispy potato. Simple and tasty.


The menu was as follows so I don’t have to remember the specifics of every course!


Amuse bouche was marinated salmon chunks with watercress ‘pods’ on something similar to crème fraiche. Whatever it was, it was topped with a little wild-flower, and in one case, a tiny wriggling caterpillar too! Something I’m certain wasn’t meant to be on the menu! The waiter looked mortified when we told him, after he’d gone tot he trouble of explaining the dish in detail, and quickly returned said dish to the kitchen! We thought it was hilarious so I think he was quite pleased he’s got us as a table rather than others who may have been less than impressed! Oh well, if you will use wild, fresh flowers…


3 out of 5 of us also had the win tasting menu, and the sommelier was excellent although sometimes to food was going cold while he explained the wine match to us. A shame this wasn’t always served before the food. The wine choices were varied and smooth.


The mackerel had come highly recommended and we were not to disappointed. No minibeasts this time though; just a delight of textures and flavours. The little stuffed parcel gave a different dimension to the dish and everything just fit perfectly together. Yum!


The squid risotto was very clever and was, in fact, just tiny pieces of chopped squid with no rice at all. Rich, creamy, and yes Chris, we’ll allow the foam just this once!


Chicken wings were next, and though they looked nothing like you’d expect, the skin was salty and crispy and the meat cooked to perfection. The white asparagus was particularly good.


This was a favourite amongst our table: monkfish with oxtail, a rich man’s ‘surf and turf’! The meatiness of the fish stood up to the delicious oxtailness of the jus and the green padron peppery sauce on which it was placed added yet another notable flavour.


Aubergine seems to be one of those things that when you had as a child you hated, and so never eat again. Well, yes, if you cube  and boil them they’re flavourless and grey, but if you cook them with a little more thought and imagination, they really are wonderful! Even a simply char-grill with olive oil, salt and pepper will do the trick! This one, tough, had been glazed with black sugar and garlic, and, whilst being quite sweet, had an undertones of charred-ness and complimented the fall-apart lamb beautifully.



We couldn’t resist paying a little extra for the cheese, having seen the selection as we first walked into the restaurant. I chose several soft cheese and a blue. They were laid from left to right, and are meant to be eaten from mildest to strongest, which I indeed did! The grapes and walnuts worked well, especially with the goat’s cheese and by now, we were getting full!


A pre-dessert of cherry sorbet on something creamy (bear in mind, we'd had a new glass of wine with each course!), was scrummy! Although the dessert on the menu was Crème Caramel, we were offered the choice of any dessert off the a la carte, partly, I think, as we were virtually the only ones left outside, and maybe because of the caterpillar! Whatever, the reason, we tried to choose different things, my favourite being the gingerbread soufflé below. So light it literally melted in the mouth.


The Crème Caramel was also very tasty…


And a selection of all things chocolaty!


Whilst the food was delicious, it was also the banter and service that impressed. I’d definitely return…again, and again, and again. I just wish it was closer to home.

1 comment:

  1. SO jealous. I've wanted to visit The Ledbury for ages.


Would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!
Merlotti x

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