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|Address:||127 Ledbury Road, London W11 2AQ|
|Tel:||020 7792 9090|
|Price: £76.00||Wine: £30.00||Champagne: £50.00|
|Opening Hours:||Tues-Sun 12N-2pm (Sun -2.30pm) Mon-Sat 6.30-10.30pm Sun 7-10pm|
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
I decided to take advantage of the Easter mass exodus from London to try the fantastic value set lunch (2 courses £22.50 and 3 courses £27.50) on offer at The Ledbury in Notting Hill. The chef proprietor Bret Graham has been in the foodie press quite a bit recently as The Ledbury received a much coveted second Michelin star at the beginning of the year and his Fulham pub The Harwood Arms was awarded its first Michelin star in the new years gastro honours list.
This restaurant is situated at the bottom of Ledbury Road, in this now much sought after hedge fund neighbourhood. Like many Notting Hill restaurants, the décor at The Ledbury doesn’t quite do it for me. No David Collins or Martin Brudnizki influences here but more a Furniture Village meets Habitat. Nevertheless, we were here to let the food do the talking.
My new restaurant test is to find out whether you can take your own wine and be charged a reasonable corkage and this is exactly the case at The Ledbury where they charge £25 per bottle corkage. It may sound high at first but when you look at the wine list, the cheapest wine is New World plonk at £22 and I brought my own Chablis Premiere Cru and a similar wine on the menu was a stonking £90. To make it even better, I was welcomed with arms wide open when I walked in with a chilled Burgundian under my arms. To be able to walk in with your own booze to a 2 Michelin star restaurant is like Bob Crow offering to drive you to work during a tube strike.
We were promptly seated and offered tap water, another lovely touch in a place like this, and offered both an a la carte and set lunch menu to peruse over. While debating our choices the first non menu freebie arrived, an aubergine meringue with a foie grois butter centre. Superbly soft despite being a meringue and the foie grois started to get the taste buds going for the courses to come.
On the set menu to start was crapaudine beetroot in clay with smoked white balsamic emulsion, goats cheese and dried olives. The betroot was brought out to the table still cocooned in the clay and then taken away to be served up. The stronger flavour and texture of the beetroot worked well with the smoother creamier goats cheese and the portion size well outdid many other Michelin competitors. The other starter was a ravioli of lamb with artichokes, garlic and wood sorrel. The single piece of ravioli was filled with succulent strands of lamb intermingled with artichoke and surrounded by garlic and sorrel. A very different dish to the beetroot but again a wonder on the tastebuds. To call this dish a pasta dish would not do it justice as it is so much more yet still has the simplicity that every Italian expects from their nations favourite dish.
To follow, a choice of either roast baby monkfish with pardon peppers, oxtail and rosemary or crisp suckling pig and stuffed pig tails with a reduction of dried chicory, spatzle and white carrot. A nice sign to see monkfish on a set menu as this ain’t a cheap fish and it was deservedly beautifully cooked, the white flakes of this fish gently fell apart with the slightest touch from a fork. One element I wasn’t keen on was the pardon peppers which had a little kick to them which I thought didn’t quite compliment the fish as it should, but I am not the keenest on spice. The second dish of piggy parts was good. Although a little odd to look at, the pork was moist and full of flavour. This is the sort of dish you wouldn’t probably choose of an a la carte menu but makes you realise that it is worth the risk of choosing dishes that don’t always first stand out to you.
Dessert consisted of three choices with a Crème Brulee with dried apricot and cardamom, a selection of sorbets and cheese. We had all three and again Mr Graham has constructed his menu well as all three desserts were so very different. The selection of cheese veered towards France as most tend to do but there was a good selection without being overwhelming. The crème brulee pleased all and that touch of cardamom added that special touch.
The service at The Ledbury is something that really impressed me for a 2 Michelin star restaurant. Nothing annoys me more when you get pressured by fussy waiting staff that never leave you alone and top up your wine glass every two minutes. Our service was different, far more relaxed and a joy to chat to the maitre’d. The bill arrived and I was pleasantly pleased by the final amount of £158.00 including coffees, petit fours and service charge. I have eaten at many West End restaurants where a similar bill has arrived for an average two course meal nowhere near the skill, quality and service experienced here. Come here for lunch with someone special to celebrate something special. But don’t blame me when you want to come back for dinner, at least you can bring your own!