|Monkfish, banana , onion|
I was very hesitant to visit Launceston Place, it was my personal favourite restaurant when Tim Allen was head chef (He has moved to Wild Rabbit in 2015). The restaurant has given me many exquisite meal and happy memories, but now all the familiar faces are no longer there, it was hard to find a reason to head back. Launceston Place appeared to have a shaky period in 2016 since Tim moved on. Their new head chef that didn't last long before he was replaced with another new chef, in the name of Ben Murphy. His menu seemed ambitious and highly creative, with some good early press reviews, I figured it would be a good reason for me to return to see how things have changed.
|Egg & soldiers, celeriac|, brioche|
|Spelt, Jerusalem artichoke, parsley|
|Octopus chorizo, chicken Wing|
To fully experience what Ben is capable, we opted for the tasting menu, and to my surprise, most of the dishes were done brilliantly. The pigeon puff pastry was a knocked out dish, the pastry was thin and light, with the foie gras and pigeon proven to be a match made in heaven, rich and loaded with powerful earthy flavours. Monkfish with banana was an interesting dish, the meaty taste of the well seasoned fish managed to carry the boldness of the banana without being confusing, it actually worked rather well. The Presa Iberica pork was another highly creative dish, mixing in some Oriental element. It was another impactful dish with some very robust flavours, the pork was moist and the richness of the aubergine added another layer of sweetness and texture.
|Pigeon and foie gras pastry|
|Presa Iberica, aubergine, crackling|
|“Solero” coconut , clementine|
The tasting menu went beyond of my expectation, I did fear if the ambitious menu would be a touch too far, given he is still a pretty young chef (27) and just set foot in Launceston Place, but he has proven he is the real deal. His forward thinking concept totally delivered from a taste point of view, and the creative factor added a buzz and excitement. D&D (owner of Launceston Place) can count themselves to have such a young and talented chef like Ben, I would keep a close eye to see how will the restaurant progress and I think regaining a Michelin star won't be an issue, it is only a matter of when.
What I paid:
£97 per head with wine
Average cost without drinks and services:
Lunch menu: £30
Tasting menu: £75
1A Launceston Pl London, Greater London W8 5RL