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127 Ledbury Road
“Incredibly inventive”; “consistently wonderful”; “simply outstanding on every level”: readers confirm that The Ledbury is still a paragon of fine dining in the capital. It may radiate old-school affluence, but Brett Graham’s über-suave destination comes across as an inclusive eatery for locals, tourists and perambulating foodies alike – a neighbourhood destination kitted out with arty chandeliers, leather chairs and mirrored walls. Diners descend on the place in search of “top-class contemporary food” from a chef who cooks with vigour, authority and audacious brio. Regulars suggest that tasting menus are the way to go: “every course is a surprise”, whether you begin with a Chantilly of oyster, sea bream tartare and frozen English wasabi or the “stand-out” flame-grilled mackerel with pickled cucumber, Celtic mustard and shiso. There is stupendous meat and game too, perhaps Herdwick lamb with salt-baked kohlrabi, Padrón pepper and garlic or a sanguine-toned dish of Berkshire roe deer accompanied by smoked bone marrow, cherries, red leaves and vegetables. As thoughts turn to sweetness, the kitchen obliges with masterstrokes such as blackcurrant-leaf ice cream paired with buffalo-milk meringues and mead. Impeccable staff “genuinely enjoy their job”, and it’s worth engaging with one of the knowledgeable sommeliers if you want to get the best from the endlessly fascinating list. What more could you want from a two-Michelin-starred sophisticate?
SquareMeal 4 star
Best Haute Cuisine
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127 Ledbury Road
Westbourne Park Tube Station 517m
Westbourne Park Station 539m
Electric Cinema 360m
Portobello Road 407m
Wed-Sun 12N-2pm Mon-Sun 6.30-9.45pm
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 5
Not for the first time we came away from The Ledbury purring with delight. The quality of the setting, the staff, the food and the wine is just so superb, and we find ourselves running out of superlatives to describe the whole dining experience - this is the complete package! The outstanding canapés and amuse-bouche set the standard for the whole meal, and every single dish was simply exceptional. Lava bread crisp with mussel cream started it all off, a guinea fowl puff with mint jelly, a warm smoked eel cigar with celeriac pancake and caviar, and the lightest of crumpets with brown crab butter, brought us to the first of the outstanding starters - tomato sorbet with lobster claw meat, seaweed and cold tomatoes. This was followed by fresh hazelnuts with green bean salad, peach and shavings of chicken liver parfait, then Cumbrian veal tartare, curd cheese sauce, artichoke, crunchy beef fat and parmesan toast, an indescribably satisfying mouthful, and finally, before the fish courses, warm bantam’s egg with mushroom croutons, celeriac, a touch of Arbois wine and truffle. Roasted Cornish cod with a restrained honey glaze, dashi jelly and radishes had us smacking our lips and then heavenly lobster wrapped lovingly in shiitake and served with a wafer and a pea purée with a touch of lemon followed. Meaty hen of the woods mushroom was pointed up with a potato emulsion, a trompette powder, rosemary and garlic oil and this paved the way for truly memorable guinea fowl with sweetcorn, girolles, lemon thyme and a mushroom foam. The intriguing pre-dessert was blood peach with anise hyssop redolent of liquorice, peach kernel and olive oil, and we finished with a brown sugar mousse tart with stem ginger ice cream and cherry coulis which provided a perfect light finish to a formidably good meal.
Only two stars? You must be joking!
At The Ledbury everything from beginning to end is effortlessly smooth and classy with an easy professionalism that other restaurants could learn from. The welcome is properly welcoming, the dining room exemplary with the right amount of space between tables to ensure comfort and inspire a pleasing ambience, the food is uniformly top-notch throughout the meal and full of the wow-factor with the little touches that can lift the dishes above and beyond what one might expect simply from the description in the menu, and the wines chosen to match the food are superior to those found at other venues supposedly on a level with The Ledbury. Every single member of the staff is enthusiastic and well-schooled, recognising the merits of their place of work and instinctively knowing just what to do and how to do it to ensure the diner feels relaxed yet respected, and they all glory in the opportunity to give the customer a marvellous, complete dining experience. The kitchen was certainly in the great form we expected, from the terrific canapés, guinea fowl mint jelly, cheese puff with game jelly and muntjac ball with pho-style brioche and crispy shallot, to the excellent petits fours, including a super light cinnamon cigarette. These little wonders parenthesised a superlative series of dishes which emphasised the chef’s skills, balancing ingredients, tastes, textures and creative presentation to leave the diner wanting to start the meal all over again. The combination of sea bream tartare, oyster Chantilly and grated English wasabi and wasabi leaf was simply outstanding, as was the Cumbrian veal tartare with its grilled artichoke oil, horseradish, and beef fat on toast with truffle sprinkle. We love smoked eel, and serving it with clay-baked white beetroot and English caviar was a master stroke, which was followed by a very special version of a cooked breakfast in the form of a bantam egg with dried ham, celeriac, truffle and a hint of Arbois. The first of the main dishes provided a real surprise, as it was the first time we had ever had monkfish with orange, which, with the superb pumpkin and shellfish purée, made for a completely new and utterly delicious variation on one of our favourite fish. Another favourite of ours, the hen of the woods mushroom, was cleverly barbecued and accompanied by some superlative pork temple and crackling and completed with potato emulsion and finished with rosemary. The saddle of Chinese water deer, surprisingly sourced from Norfolk, with smoked bone marrow, pickled beetroot cream, beetroot, quince and red leaves was sensational, and we finished our brilliant meal with an incredibly light Christmas tart wallowing in what seemed to be a Glühwein sauce and orange and cardamom ice cream. Anywhere across the Channel, The Ledbury would have three Michelin stars.
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