Sunday 15 December 2019

The Ledbury

Still the best

Fallow deer rib, bone marrow, red cabbage

The Ledbury, for me, has been the best restaurant in London for the last 7 years. The casual fine dining restaurant in Nothing Hill has kept its 2 Michelin stars for 10 years now, unlike many other top restaurants out there, it doesn't use social media and mail marketing, chef-owner Brett Raham also has no Twitter or Instagram. It just relays on WOM to attract diners from around the world. If you ask most London based foodies, many would rate The Ledbury as the best in London and is easy to understand why with its modern, creative but refined approach in its cooking. They somehow just got the perfect balance of drama and taste. Nothing gimmicky about the style, just amazing tasting food.

Sketch Lecture Room

The new 3 stars on the block

Wild Native Turbot Roasted On The Bone

When the 2020 Michelin Guide result was released in September, Sketch was promoted from 2 stars to 3 stars. It stunned many people, including myself. I had an average meal at Sketch 5 years ago and I got to say it was 1 star level at best. Since then, there has been a new head chef and many rounds of menu changes, so maybe it is time for me to head back to give it another try. What makes Sketch special is its strange, fun and eye-catching decor, from its Alice in Wonderland theme bar, the pink-themed casual restaurant to the flagship, 3 Michelin starred fine dining Lecture Room. The restaurant is overseen by the legendary French chef Pierre Gagnaire, which is known for his creative approach in fine dining, using odd ingredients combination.

The Greenhouse

True Haute cuisine in Mayfair

Bouillabaisse, sole. red prawns, saffron

The Greenhouse in Mayfair is a special restaurant, with some very high profile chefs working there in the past, such as Alyn Williams and the late Gary Rhode. It gained 2 Michelin star status with Arnaud Bignon but he has left in 2018, he was replaced by Alex Dilling, who was the executive chef for Helene Darroze. He has managed to maintain the 2 stars status for the 2020 guide. Alex appeared to be on the right track as he has already gained some positive reviews from the media and loved by many chefs across the nation with his modern French cooking. The last time I was at The Greenhouse was back in 2016 so I was interested to see what Alex's cuisine is all about. To fully experience that, I opted for its long tasting menu which cost £155.

Saturday 7 December 2019


Luxury French dining at Hype Park

Scottish scallops, crushed celeriac, crispy skin and Truffle chicken jus

When the 1 Michelin starred Celeste first opened the door back in 2015, I experienced one of the finest meals in London at that time. Back then, the restaurant menu was developed by the 3 Michelin starred chef Éric Fréchon from Paris, with Florian Favario was running the kitchen. Fast forward to 2019, it appears many things have changed. The restaurant is no longer using Eric Frechon's name on the website so it seems like he is no longer involved. The kitchen also has a new head chef in the name of the Steeven Gilles, who worked at 2 stars The Ledbury, as well as 3 stars Epicure in France. As it has been such a long time, I headed back to Celeste with an open mind. One thing for sure, however, is that the dining room is still as luxurious and elegant as ever.


Eastern Mediterranean hotel restaurant in Shoreditch 

Red mullet, chunky muhammara, walnut

Back in 2016, I dined at Yosma and experienced what upmarket Turkish cuisine is all about. No more just the standard BBQ lamb chops or yogurt with spiced adana. I encountered some big flavours, ingredient lead cooking. However, Yosma didn't last long and it has since closed down, I suspect it was largely to do with the location (Baker Street) and its super large space. Fast forward to 2019, the people behind Yosma is having another go, this time, a large Mediterranean restaurant called Barboun inside the Zabeel House hotel. From looking at the menu, it seems much more premium, you can see sirloin, octopus, and even smoked eel on the menu. The restaurant space is classy, it felts more like a British modern restaruant than a Mediterranean one.

China Tang London

Winter warmer, Cantonese style

Steamed brown crab in egg white and rice wine

China Tang is one of my to-go with places for authentic, top-notch Cantonese food in London. I have lost count how many times I have been there now, it might be inside a posh hotel, but the cooking is all about classic, old school Cantonese, with no gimmicks whatsoever. For my winter visit, I had the chance to sample some new dishes that head chef Fong is testing out, as well as getting my hands on some traditional winter dishes. The restaurant was so so busy on the night I went, it was flooded with travelers, as well as wealthy locals.