127 Ledbury Road
London, United Kingdom
April 1, 2016
Seaweed Crisp with Smoked Mussel / Foie gras puffs and mead jelly
Not surprising, the Ledbury is among London’s most desirable fine dining venues. Thanks to my friend’s early reservation I got to try chef Brett Graham’s masterful lunch menu during my stay in London.
Our meal started off with two excellent amuse bouches. The seaweed lava bread with a dollop of smoked mussel on the left had a great texture and a precise flavour.
Muntjac Dumpling with Pine Salt
These warm fried spheres were filled with minced Muntjac (which is a type of deer). The meat added much gamey richness here. Paradoxically, the fruit jelly on top rounded this wildness down. This nicety left us in anticipation for the courses to follow.
Smoked eel – tomato and tea jelly, crab and basil beignet
Chantilly of oyster – tartare of sea bream and frozen english wasabi, crackers with seaweed powder
Violet Artichokes – muscat grapes, cured duck and grated foie gras
All plates were immaculately presented. The oyster dish was perfectly balanced with the right amount of salinity and acidity. Extremely appetizing. My favorite among three was the violet artichoke. The foie gras was grated to powder that they were almost weightless. Taste them altogether, and the delicacy unfolded along with the ethereally thin-sliced cured duck and gently cooked artichoke.
Hand dived scallops – toasted grains and seaweed
The scallop was well-cooked and very flavoursome. The toasted grains were used for nutty nuance.
Warm pheasant’s egg – shaved celeriac, dried ham, arbois and spring truffle
Egg and truffle are a great combination already, and here they got along even better than usual by introducing another layer of greatness - shaved celeriac and dried ham. It made this an even more indulgent yet still delicate dish.
Flame grilled mackerel – pickled cucumber, celtic mustard and shiso
My choice of second course was mackerel. The fish itself was a piece of melting fat. It also embodied a wonderful chargrilled flavor which I love. The smooth jerusalem artichoke puree and pickled cucumber further added depth and sharpness to integrate the oiliness of the fish.
Belted galloway beef – fillet and short rib, padron, salt baked kohlrabi and bone marrow
The beef main course was on the a la carte menu and had to be ordered for two people. My friends decided to give it a try. It came in extremely well executed, flavors were carefully calibrated. The juice distributed throughout the muscle in every bite.
Herdwick lamb – ewe’s milk, aubergine and olives
And eventually my lamb course, was another level, or two above everything really. There were three cuts of lamb – chop, neck and haunch – on the plate. The different lamb preparations were all perfect. The meat turned to be not just juicy and fresh, but still retained a lively “bounciness”. The aubergine was subtle and seductive, and so was the grilled leek flower. This dish definitely left a big mark in my memory.
Olive oil cake – blood orange, white chocolate and tea
A lovely invigorating dessert was being served lastly. The olive oil cake had an airy sponginess. The taste was sugary and jammy. It was a playful riff on Victoria cake, but on the other hand I was expecting a little more complexity.
Lunch at the Ledbury was incredible on every aspect. Close to mind-blowing food, and the service experience was one of the best I experienced in London. Expectation was high, and Ledbury exceeded it!