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Two Michelin Stars, London

Reviewed by Justine Murphy, CEO of mymuybueno – March 2017

The Ledbury is located on Ledbury Road in Notting Hill, London and holds two Michelin stars. It has been featured in San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants and its Head Chef, Brett Graham, has been favourably received by critics. The Restaurant opened in 2005 when it was awarded its first star, and it received its second star in 2010. British produce and wild English game is the focus. Greg Austin was the Head Chef on the day of my visit.

I came for lunch service and opted of course for the tasting menu. There was a lovely atmosphere in a crisp, clean, fresh room with attentive and smooth service visible all round.

Whipped Mousse of Smoked Mussels and Laverbread Crisp, topped with Apple Pearls. This was delicious.

Guinea Fowl and Foie Parfait Puff with Mead Jelly. The creamy liquid centre erupted in my mouth. Rich, yet light, and the acidic sweetness from the jelly was heavenly.

Warm Muntjac and Mustard Fruit Dumpling – This was warm and delicious and oh my word, just wow. The flavour of the venison was just incredible, only enhanced by being deep-fried in a little dumpling. I could have eaten ten more. A very tantalising promise of what lay ahead.

A very tantalising promise of what lay ahead

The first course came swiftly. Chantilly of Oyster, Tartare of Sea Bream and Frozen English Wasabi. This was just beautiful. A fresh, salty, delicious taste of the sea, with the subtle hint of warmth from the wasabi contrasting with the icy coolness on my palate.

 

The bread was served next, and I can truly say it is the only sourdough I have had since my visit to Noma last year that has truly blown me away, and now takes the top spot. So delicious, and so full of flavour. The addition of porridge oats is genius and the goat’s milk butter made with whipped whey and sprayed with molasses made it just perfect.

truly blown me away, and now takes the top spot

White Beetroot Baked in Clay, Caviar Salt and Smoked Eel. This was white baked beetroot that had been peeled and thinly sliced. It was crunchy and sweet. The caviar on top hails from the first ever British caviar farm in Exmoor National Park, North Devon – and it was incredible. There was caviar salt too, which was so good (I must get some). It enhanced the whole dish and elevated the smoked eel, which sat underneath the beetroot on a bed of Chantilly cream, fennel and celery. The crumbs of rye bread and dried sturgeon which flecked the top of the dish further served to enhance everything so perfectly. An absolutely awesome plate of food.

Warm Pheasant Egg, Celeriac, Arbois, Dried Ham and Truffle. This dish. THIS DISH. Oh my word. Seriously. I have never wanted to describe a dish as sex on legs before, but now here I am. What an exquisite dish. The celeriac was finely sliced, much like the previous beetroot dish, and quite literally hugged the egg. The earthy, pungent notes were down to the generous serving of black truffle and raw mushrooms. Creamy rich yolk burst out of my pheasant egg as I broke into it, and this was mopped up with a toasted brioche, adding a crunchy element and texture which balanced things nicely. The rich yet subtle notes brought by the Arbois wine reduction (which lent itself well) brought it all together, along with the beautiful addition of truffle jelly and the salty punch of the jamon. The whole thing was just a umami flavour explosion in my mouth. I adored this dish. The Marsanne wine it was paired with was unbelievable, with massive notes of petrol, and it worked – just amazing.

I have never wanted to describe a dish as sex on legs before, but now here I am

Roast Scallop, Blood Orange and Pine Nuts. This was a bitter/sweet, balanced dish featuring a beautiful Orkney scallop with the taste of pine nuts running through each bite. A fish stock reduction worked well with the blood orange, and the addition of fennel seeds provided a touch of anise.

Agen Prune, Earl Grey Tea and Lardo. The wine pairing was perfect for this next dish, as it was a strong, full-bodied red which cut through the richness of the dish. The Earl Grey Tea-soaked agen prune was stuffed with pork, chives and shallots, piped with mushroom consommé and truffle, with a foie gras and Earl Grey sauce, and a dot of aged balsamic lining the plate too.

Chinese Water Deer, Smoked Bone Marrow, Quince, Red Leaves and Vegetables. This consisted of Norfolk deer loin, which was pink and melt in the mouth, and a venison sausage, which was utterly brilliant and full of flavour. Some really gorgeous ingredients made this dish what it was – beetroot, black olive and beef bone marrow – providing strong flavours that worked in harmony.

a venison sausage which was utterly brilliant and full of flavour

Whipped Buttermilk, Rhubarb and Lemon Balm. Coconut and marshmallow ice cream was whipped through the buttermilk, the Yorkshire rhubarb had been perfectly cooked, and its poaching liquor was drizzled over the top with olive oil. Lemon balm gel and orange powder also adorned the plate, and this was all accompanied by a little perfect donut rolled in blackcurrant sugar. Splendid.

Brown Sugar Tart, Stem Ginger Ice Cream. An exceptional custard tart, which very much gave the one I enjoyed at Marcus a run for its money. Almond, with a perfect brown sugar custard forming just the right wobble, and a crisp sheet of pastry on top with a chicory powder top which really worked well. It was served with lemon-poached grapes with the reduced jus and a stem ginger ice cream with almond crumbs.

a perfect brown sugar custard forming just the right wobble

Petit Fours of Eucalyptus Chocolate and a Juniper Caramel Stick. By this stage I was so full but tasted both, and of course they were astoundingly good.

Wine:
Gruner Veltliner, Lossterrassen, Weingut Stadt Krems, Kremstal, Austria, 2016
Assyrtiko, Estate Argyros, Santorini, Greece, 2015
Marsanne, 1927 Vines, Tahbilk, Nagambie Lakes, Australia 2007
Vespaiolo, Vignasilan, Contra Soarda, Veneto, Italy, 2012
Cotes du Rhone, Chateau des Tours, Rhone, France 2012
Saumur – Champigny, La Folie, Chateau Yvonne, Loire, France, 2014
Riversaltes Ambre, Consolation, Tramontane, Roussillon, France 1985

Favourite Dish:  Warm Pheasant Egg, Celeriac, Arbois, Dried Ham and Truffle.

Napkin Fold:  Yes

Menu to take home: Yes

Meal for two, including drinks and service: £400

Final Thought: The attention to the ingredients, the knowledge about them, and the sourcing of all of them from the UK is just mind-blowing and wonderful. The care and respect for each is abundantly clear. So much love. The service was slick and the staff informative, the atmosphere smart yet unpretentious, and the whole menu simple blew me away. Two stars surely will become three soon enough. Flawless. I will be back.

The Ledbury
Address:
127 Ledbury Road, Notting Hill, London W11 2AQ
Telephone: + 44 (0) 20 7792 9090
Hours: Wednesday – Sunday Lunch: 12pm – 2pm Monday – Sunday Dinner: 6.30pm – 9.45pm
Website: www.theledbury.com