Sunday, 12 April 2015

Launceston Place

Modern gastronomy


This is my 8th visit to the Michelin starred Launceston Place, this is my favourite London restaurant for fine dining, a place I would always suggest first if someone asked me to recommend a high quality gastronomic experience without needing to borrow a loan. I returned for the first time in 2015, knowing I would be getting something quite different from my last visit just before Christmas. Head chef Tim Allen is known for his progressive modern creative European cuisine and every time I dine out at Launceston Place, I always find something very special that delights my taste buds with joy and that is largely the reason why I keep returning to this charming neighbourhood restaurant.

iced caramelised celeriac, golden turnips, toasted hazelnut
organic duck egg, duck solider, baked potato mousseline
glazed duck breast, smoked eel, hazelnut, young beetroot,
cured foie gras, rhubarb, seasonal shoots

Once again I went for the tasting menu, glazed duck breast was a really ambitious dish with an uncommon ingredient combination of duck, eel, beetroot and foie gras. But it worked like a treat and it is actually a well thought out concept of matching earthy elements of different textures together with salad and rhubarb to offset the richness. Hand dived scallop with chicken wing was another magnificent and creative use of ingredients combination, the wing was well seasoned and the scallop was so moist and sweet with a good amount of extravagant black truffle on the plate. And it just kept getting better with the hake, it was stunningly good, it was so soft and retained a great depth of freshness, by far the best piece of fish cooking I have eaten this year.

hand dived scallop, glazed chicken wing,
leek veloute, black Perigored truffle
hake, caramelised cauliflower, cock crab, oyster leaf
lamb, white polenta, parmesan, Morteau sausage,
new season garlic, French asparagus, lamb white wine sauce

The main course of lamb was the least enjoyable dish, while it was still very pleasant, I found the flavours didn't work as well as the other dishes. It contained a very classical French taste with very bold and earthy flavours using ingredients such as parmsan and French sausage while other dishes had a high contrast of style which lean toward more contemporary flavours. What more than makes up for it were the two desserts, cheescake with Yorkshire rhubarb was a knock out desert, it was so smooth with the perfect sour notes to cut into the sweetness and creaminess, the taste was truly sensational and can easily rival any other desserts from a 2 star Michelin restaurant. Never before have I tasted passion fruit and chocolate together but the final dish on the night was another stunner with the rich and silky chocolate working in harmony with the refreshing passion fruit and banana.

orange, ginger and buttermilk
cheesecake, Yorkshire rhubarb, vanilla and caramelised milk
passion fruit, Jivara chocolate and banana

The tasting menu at Launceston Place is always one of the finest dining experiences in London and this time was no different. Some very clever concepts were showcased and executed in such a refined manner. Every time I go back I can see progress and improvement which shows the determination and ambitiousness of the kitchen, at this rate, two Michelin star shouldn't be so distant from this restaurant. I always feel Lauceston Place is one of the very best restaurants in London when you scale in the quality of the food and factor in the price. Along with the informal but high level service, I can not stress how amazing and wonderful this restaurant is.

Food 4.5/5

Head chef: 

Tim Allen

What I paid: 
£115 per head with 2 glasses of wine

Average cost without drinks and services:

Lunch menu: £33
Tasting menu: £70

1A Launceston Pl  London, Greater London W8 5RL

Launceston Place on Urbanspoon

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