Sunday 14 January 2024

The Ledbury

Still my no 1 choice in London

Trout, yuzu, orange

By the end of 2023, I have managed to try most of the Michelin-starred restaurants across London, some with multiple visits. Sadly, I found London fine dining has peaked and the quality in fact is going backward, there are not a great deal of new openings that really caught my eye since 2020. So I always end up going back to old joints that I know would keep on delivering the goods, and The Ledbury is the one that I rate as the best in London. For my 23rd visit over lunch, I opted for the long tasting menu as usual.

Monday 1 January 2024

Hélène Darroze at The Connaught

Seasonal Mayfair high end French cuisine

Cauliflower, truffle, sea urchin, langoustine

I am one of those who value food quality over service and decor when picking a restaurant. Having said that, I do have a soft spot for Helen Dorroze at The Connaught despite the fact that there are for sure better restaurants in London elsewhere food quality-wise. A lot has to do with the hospitality element, as the service there is outstanding, with very comfortable seating and a relaxing decor while still retaining that luxury premium feel to it. This is my 10th visit, the French fine dining restaurant within the iconic British hotel is one of the handful of restaurants in London of holding 3 Michelin stars, offering a seasonal tasting menu, and sourcing the best available ingredients around the UK and Europe.

The Grill at The Dorchester

British cuisine master

Beef tartare on crumpet and black truffle

The Grill at The Dorchester has a special place in my heart. The slick modern British hotel restaurant is one of those places I always have time for, always willing to head back. All down to the chef behind it aka Tom Booton, who has turned British cuisine into something exciting and fun, while maintaining the essence of traditional British manner. It has just updated its menu for winter so for my 10th visit, I was able to sample all the new dishes. The menu contains snack, starter, main, and dessert sessions so you can more or less treat it as a 4-course alc menu. 

China Tang Dorchester

Classic dim sum champion 

Cavier and wagyu beef taro puff

For traditional fine Cantonese cuisine in London, China Tang inside the Dorchester Hotel has long been my go to venue. Head chef Fong is the star and the masterchef behind the show, the dishes focus on very traditional Cantonese cuisine but use top-class British ingredients. I have had many wonderful special occasions here and no 1 single time China Tang has failed to impress. For my 20th visit, I went for a dim sum, sharing party style. 

Pavyllon London

Fine French cuisine with a lost soul

Prawn cocktail, cucumber, trout roe

I am one of those who usually avoid going to a restaurant when a chef is behind a restaurant, but he or she isn't actually there as they are just consulting chefs. There are just far too many in London lately, from Mauro Colagreco now having his name at Raffles and Claude Bois at Peninsula. Many high-end hotels now signing up star chefs to run their restaurants without them actually being there full-time. Four Seasons Park Lane has done the same with French chef Yannick Alléno, who is a big deal with more than 15 Michelin stars to his name. His London outpost Pavyllon is an interesting one, the space has a Zuma/Roka vibe to it, and feels high-end while very casual at the same time, with bar dining spaces and an open kitchen.


The king of Stratford

Roasted duck, blackberries, beetroot

This is my 3rd time dining at Allegra, the modern fine dining restaurant is located on the 7th floor of the Stratford Hotel. I am a fan of Executive Chef Patrick Powell's style of cooking. Having eaten at his latest project (which was very enjoyable), aka a French restaurant called The Midland in King Cross, it reminded me he also has an excellent venue which is even closer to me, which is Allegra. Unlike The Midland, Allegra has a much more international essence in its approach it its food offering, which leads to more creative, forward-thinking dishes.