Sunday, May 10, 2009

Eat Modern European : The Ledbury, Notting Hill

Bank Holiday Mondays have become a great opportunity to eat well. If it were up to me, I would go to nice restaurants every day of the week, but the fact of the matter is, I can't afford it. Eating well costs serious dineiro's but there are ways of dining at London's best without spending a king's ransom.

The lunch menus may not be the gastronomical journeys that many foodies crave, but are often very affordable and are a great example of what the kitchens are capable of. Therefore, I vowed to take every one of these opportunities and that is why I found myself at the Ledbury on May Bank Holiday.

Dining with me was my old buddy Ed and sister no 2 who was predictably late. As we sat at our table, waiting for her to turn up, we were starting to get jealous as all those around us were being served delicious looking bread and amuse bouche. When she finally did turn up, it was time to rock and roll.

After a few rolls of that freshly in house baked bread (the bacon brioche in particular) our "amuse" of some thinly spread foie gras arrived. Smooth and slightly spiced, it was just enough to get the taste buds going. Those decently priced lunch menu's I've been going on about, a mere £25 for three 1 Michelin starred courses. We all went for the Lunch menu, a complete no-brainer.

To start I went for the celeriac and wild boar. I don't think I can use enough words to describe what was going on in this dish. There was the smooth truffle mayonnaise, slightly salty celeriac, the crisp and porky wild boar kromeski and a texture shift with the bits of egg and hazelnuts. A real delight to the senses.

For my main, I opted for the slow cooked lamb. As you would expect from any 24 hour cooked meat, the lamb just fell apart. No need for the knife. The meat was smooth and tender and had bags of that beautiful lamby taste. The truffle mash was a good accompaniment but was a little on the rich side.

Finally, dessert, a passion fruit soufflé. The soufflé was a picture. It had risen beautifully and on arrival, had a scoop of Sauternes ice cream forcibly inserted into the middle. This again was smooth and light. The passion fruit was slightly acidic and tart but was complemented by the sweet and creamy Sauternes ice cream. A lovely end to a great meal.

Service? Up and down. Some of the time, it felt like we were being totally ignored whilst during the other times, the service felt slightly overbearing. I think at one stage, 3 different waiters filled my water within a 5 minute window. On the whole though, it was also really good. Our waiter even brought over my sister a complementary dessert, as in his words, "the chef didn't want her to feel left out".

When the bill came, it was accompanied by a delightful assortment of Petit Fours. Sweet and dainty, just small enough that we didn't ignore them after such a grand meal. The total bill was very reasonable (if you exclude the wine) and was great value for money.

So, in conclusion, it was probably one of the best meals I have had in a long time. If not ever. In my eyes, my culinary adventure has only really just begun but if my next stops on this journey are as good as this one, it will be a very happy one. Not long to go until the next Bank Holiday!

The Ledbury
127 Ledbury Road,
Notting Hill, London
W11 2AQ

Ledbury on Urbanspoon


kang said...

YES! Im so glad you ordered the celeraic - it really was an awesome dish, I loved it too. I went after the alacarte at £55 and to date, its the best meal Ive had this year and nothing comes close yet! (well, Dinings perhaps, but not by a mile)

Glad you liked the Ledbury - this is one restaurant I would go back again and again, Salute Chef Brett

Tom said...

Because of this review I tried to book in tomorrow but it was FULL. Argh..

I had been meaning to go for ages but this tipped me over the edge.