Unfortunately The Ledbury is in West London’s Notting Hill, a haven stricken with phony rich pricks.
We didn’t do the tasting menu as my dining companion and I were both hungover and just weren’t up for it. This is not the best approach to one of London’s best restaurants but c’est la vie.
My first dish was the New Season’s White Asparagus with Duck Ham, Morels cooked in Earl Grey Tea and Parmesan. The asparagus was good, it’s always quite hit and miss for me and this was very decent however it was the duck ham that made this dish, it was really rich and went fantastically well with the fresh spring asparagus. This dish also came with some battered deep-fried duck tongues, these were small little parcels of joy.
The Flame Grilled Mackerel with Smoked Eel, Turnip and Shiso was outstanding. I never cook fish at home because I always mess it up and I can never make the sauce just right. Mackerel is a nice oily fish that really pays off, it’s like eating a tender steak. The smoked eel wasn’t for me, I don’t mind eel when it’s fried and crispy, actually I like everything fried and crispy, see the duck tongues above, but smoked eel does not agree with my taste buds.
My main was the Loin and Shoulder of Salt Marsh Lamb with Aubergine Glazed with Miso. I will go as far to say this is the nicest Lamb dish I have ever had, the meat was so tender and full of flavour and the accompanying roasted garlic sauce was amazing. I was unimpressed with the glazed Aubergine, it was just so boring next to the big brash Lamb, it needed more of a kick to it, more sweetness.
I really screwed up on the dessert front, the Mille Feuille with Mango and Vanilla Cream was really disappointing. It was just really boring and the three main parts of the dish just didn’t gel. Also the pastry was not delicate enough and way too thick.
The Passion Fruit Soufflé with Sauternes Ice Cream was the exact opposite of the Mille Feuille, it looked amazing, with the ice cream being included to the middle of the soufflé by the waiter. The soufflé was so light and delicate with sweet passionfruit, the best i’ve had, a truly great dessert.
The staff as you would expect are very attentive and polished, they are helpful, well dressed and mostly attractive. Apart from one bad dessert the food at the The Ledbury is outstanding, but I still hate formal dining.