Sunday, 21 June 2015

Launceston Place

Innovative high level fine fining

salmon belly, shrimp tapioca

My ninth visit to the one Michelin starred Launceston Place, I am a big fan of Head chef's Tim Allen's innovative modern European cuisine, taking the best ingredients that are in season and delivering a taste bud sensation with modern cooking techniques and creative ideas. With a charming and highly professional service at a very reasonable price, it is hard not to fall in love with Launceston Place. The tasting menu affair has become somewhat of a habit of mine every once a while as there are always some new and interesting elements to explore every time when I try it and it never disappoints me.

eel, foie gras and cherry
Cornish mackerel, breakfast radish, sorrel buttermilk, cucumber gazpacho
wild salmon, English crayfish, Indian spices

Cornish mackerel was a light and refreshing starter, the raw mackerel was naturally sweet and the breakfast radish offered a crisp texture while the cucumber gazpacho gave the dish a real clean and cool finish. It will always be a challenge to match one of Launceston Place's signature chicken wings and scallop dish, but Tim's latest wings dish turned out to be exceptional. Those wings were perfectly seasoned with a lovely settled sweetness. All the supporting ingredients were also a knock out: sweet asparagus, soft Jersey Royals and smooth morels. They were all so good that each element was good enough to be the main cast on another dish.

organic chicken wings, English asparagus, Jersey Royals, morels
sweetbread, sweet corn, maple and green olive
veal, truffle, peas, tomatoes

Questionable dish on the night was the sweetbread, the earthiness was overwhelming and I expected the texture to be a touch more smoother. But the Veal on the other hand was fabulous, the truffle and polenta turned out to be a perfect combo for the veal, moist tender meat with a creamy and rich flavour, a highly sophisticated and grown up dish. The dessert at Launceston Place from my last visit was truly a masterpiece and this time was no different. The baked custard was rich but not sickly sweet and the raspberries and coconut offered a freshness to the finish, sorry Mr Marcus Wareing but this version was far superior than your custard tart. My only disappointment was the portion was too small! It was really a thing of beauty.
The cheese wizard
baked custard, raspberries and coconut

As expected, another wonderful dinner at Launceston Place, the dishes were completely different to my last visit but the essence and spirit of Tim's creative style remains the same. Some very refreshing flavours and strange uses of ingredient arrangements but they worked wonders in most cases. It is always good to see a restaurant that continues to push forward and seek perfection. Places like Dinner by Heston Blumenthal still cook pretty much the same dishes since it was opened and I just can't see what is the appeal to go back if you always get the same thing over and over again. But pushing the boundaries always carries a risk but in Tim's case, I definitely see plenty of progression compared to my very first visit. Tim and his team have indeed got a bright future ahead if they carry on like this.

Food 4.5/5

Head chef: 

Tim Allen

What I paid: 

£120 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

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