An extremely overdue post, due to a few busy days (holidays, birthdays, visitors from Italy) and the looming and now passed, deadline to hand in my write-ups for next year’s restaurant guide. Amongst the places I was asked to cover this year was the Ledbury, Michelin starred establishment in Notting Hill. Partly owned by Phil Howard, I had sort of always wanted to try but it was not exactly on top of my list, partly, I confess, because Notting Hill is, for lazy me, quite a trek.
I asked my friend and fellow restaurant aficionada The Chaotic Cook to join me for dinner and I finally made my way to the far west (not really).
The dining room was quite empty when we arrived but it was a fairly early in the evening. Immediately one notices the level of quality: polished and efficient service, elegant but sober decor, and beautiful amouse bouche. 2 stars aren’t for nothing, of course.
At the Ledbury there is a 4 course standard menu (£90), but at least you can choose your dishes from a good selection a la carte. My first one was a palette of burgundy tones, whites and dashes of green: visual as I am, I loved looking at it, but just as much eating it. Beets and smoked eels was a great opener.
I decided to follow with Buffalo milk curd, aged comte’, truffle toast and onion broth, and what a follow up this was. The curd was very gentle, the toast a guilty pleasure and the broth a delicate addition that just brought everything together.
My main dish was Fillet of Belted Galloway Beef with Celeriac Baked in Juniper, Bone Marrow and Crisp Potato, again a faultless dish, full of flavour: the meat was super tender, the baked celeriac lightly aromatic from the juniper.
For dessert, we both chose the Passion fruit souffle with Sauternes ice cream and oh, my gosh, what a way to finish off a great meal, it was the lightest souffle’ ever, pure air with a delicate hint of passion fruit and a cooling ice cream with a back drop of Sauternes.
We paid our bill, and we were then asked if we wanted to see the kitchen and meet Brett. What a privilege! The kitchens are small for such a fast paced environment, but clearly very well organised. We met the lady who had made our souffles (who brought us an extra delicious ice cream scoop) and we then met Brett who was in the middle of service but yet took time to meet us and have a chat. He’s down to earth and very easy going and friendly, and here I started noticing a trend (keep reading in the next few weeks).
We had a great night at the Ledbury (which was properly busy and buzzing by the time we left), and I wonder why it took me so long to eat here!
Sustainable? I failed to ask but provenance is clearly indicated the main dishes.
Dog friendly? I doubt it!
We paid for our meal in full, and despite covering it for a restaurant guide, I pay for my meal out of my own pocket. Opinions are my own.