Benchmark of fine dining
I long considered Core one of the finest restaurants in London, right up there with the like of The Ledbury and Greenhouse (both now shut down for good, unfortunately). The 2 Michelin starred restaurant in Nottinghill is owned and headed up by Clare Smyth, the then chef-patron of Gordan Ramsay's 3 stars flagship restaurant in Chelsea. Many in the trade rated Clare as the best female chef in the UK and having eaten her cooking before, I agree. At Core, it offers an alc, as well as a classic and a seasonal tasting menu. I had an amazing experience from my last visit when I had the seasonal tasting menu which centered around prime luxury, seasonal ingredients. For my 3rd visit, I opted for the same again.
|Steamed Cornish crab, sabayon, consommé, caviar|
|'Cheese and onion' alliums, aged cheddar and onion broth|
|Cornish sea bass cockles, clams, coastal herbs and lovage|
The tasting menu started off with a selection of snacks before the first course was delivered in the form of the steamed Cornish crab, presented in an avant-garde fashion with a bespoke plate that topped with a spoonful of caviar, the sweetness of freshness of the crab worked like a treat with the robust umami taste of the caviar, it was served with a warm cup of mild crab consomme which hit such a perfect balance of seafood flavour. Another highlight was the Cornish sea bass, cooked to perfection, buttery soft with cockles ad clams added a lovely soft chewy texture, as well as an extra layer of flavour from the sea. The main of roasted duck was a masterpiece, the seasoning was spot on, very tender and the use of peach offered such a delightful fruity sweetness, it was the strongest dish from the menu for me.
|Roasted duck and peach tart|
|Lamb, hogget, mutton, celtuce, savoury and black cardamon|
My third meal at Core was just as wonderful as my last second visit. The cooking showcased some excellent technical ability from the kitchen, smart ingredients combination, clean presentation in such a refined manner. With now my no1 The Ledbury no longer around, is it now the best restaurant in London? Well, I think Core, along with Kitchen Table, is indeed the best based on all the places in London I have been so far. Both miles better than 3 stars venues like Sketch and technical and Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester. I aim to visit Core once a year going forward to monitor is development as its a strong container to be the next 3 stars restaurant in the UK.
What I paid:
£245 pp with wine
Average cost without drinks and services:
£165 seasonal tasting menu
92 Kensington Park Rd, London W11 2PN