The best restaurant in London? I think so, at least for me. Ledbury was also voted best restaurant in the National Restaurant Award 3 times and ranked 14 in the World 50 best restaurants by Restaurant Magazine. As of writing this place offered me the best dinning experience so far, the following highlight my second visit, I had lunch on my first visit and I was so impress that I booked the second visit right on the spot at the end of the meal! Managed to get a chance to meet Brett Graham (Head chef) the man himself and what a legend! Seeing a 2 stars kitchen in action and chatting with Brett was a truly wonderful experience.
This time I went for the tasting menu, started off with some foie gras pastry as Amuse Bouche, creamy and light with a crispy base, top notch and what a great treat to start off the meal. Oh then here comes the bread... I don't know what kind of magic powder the kitchen got in the bacon roll, but it tasted so good! Not oily at all with all the richness of bacon and hot pastry. I just can't stop eating it which it came back to haunt me later on in the meal...
First course it is a dish of quail egg, the egg was cooked beautifully, just at the right level with the yolk still running inside. The crispy dressing added a crunchy texture and salty flavour, but not too much, just at the right balance to make a good contrast with the quail egg, solid starter.
Up next is a real winner, Flame Grilled Mackerel. The fish was cooked to perfection. Real good depth of grill flavour on the fish's surface and very tender on the inside, packed with taste of the ocean. The picked vegetable, Celtic mustard and shiso added hint of sour and spice to fish, which worked wonder together.
Raw scallop is next on the menu, it was the first time I had scallop raw and it was just so different to cooked one. The texture was rather unusual, remind me of sashimi from Japan using very fresh and raw ingredients to produce high quality dishes. The scallop was clothed with a oil dressing with just a tiny touch of bitterness which went surprisingly well with the natural sweetness of the fresh scallop, it was a very interesting dish indeed.
Next up fillet of turbot, absolutely delicious. The fish was cooked brilliantly, really moist and soft with the seasoning bang on. I can eat it easily on its own without the need of sauce. However the sauce really show case the technique ability of the kitchen with the creamy form on one side and a thick sweet and salty sauce on the other, almost like a hybrid of far east and western style.
Meat dishes of the day were the roast suckling pig, followed by roast pigeon. Again, both dishes were beautifully cooked. Pig was very moist with lovely crispy skin. But the pigeon was even better, cooked pink as how it should be, the fruity note of the berries added a really dedicated flavour to the dish, the meaty juice of the pigeon matched perfectly and this is the pigeon dish I had so far in London.
Desert time, and here come the problem, always got a bit carry away with the bread (But it was so good!) at the start and struggle to eat anything else after the meat courses!! So I had to settle to just sipping tea while watching on my friends enjoying the sweet...
There we have it, the best restaurant in London 2012. I know in this post I used a lot of "best this" and "perfect that" but that really just show what level Ledbury is at. I failed to find any fault at all, food was so incredible, not only it tasted great, but also so innovate and beautiful. Service was absolutely world class, £105 for a tasting menu is not cheap, but I think it is well worth it consider how amazing this place really is. Ledbury is one of those places worth saving up for a special occasion, if you haven't been before I strongly recommend you to try it... go on... you will love it.
What I paid:
£135 per head, with 1 glass of wine
Average cost without drinks and services:
Lunch menu: £50
Tasting menu: £115
127 Ledbury Rd, Notting Hill,
London W11 2AQ, United Kingdom