I don’t often hang out in Notting Hill, and so it is an effort for me to head to The Ledbury for dinner. However, sometimes good food comes at a price, and the price is for me to find the time and energy to venture to Notting Hill for this 2-Michelin starred restaurant headed by young chef Brett Graham.
It’s a beautiful summer evening and it was a delight to find the decor light and airy, and with the large arch-windows the restaurant felt very spacious. The warm and yet informal welcome from the staff was also a breath of fresh air. However, things started to go wrong from that point: one of the menus had a duplicate page of main courses (that was quickly changed when we pointed out the mistake), and then our order of kir royale for the aperitif turned out to be without the “royale”. It didn’t matter as I was just as happy with champagne anyway. So the start was not promising.
Fortunately, the quality of the food was more promising. The dishes with comments were the ones I ordered – I feel that I shouldn’t really comment on dishes that I only tasted a mouthful only. Still, I have the pictures and you can make up your own mind on these other dishes.
(1) Ceviche of Hand Dived Scallops with Seaweed and Herb Oil, Kohlrabi and Frozen Horseradish. The horseradish was a little too cold and the flavour too overpowering for the delicate taste and texture of the scallops. It’s refreshing enough but the aftertaste of the horseradish was just a little too much.
(2) Celeriac Baked in Ash with Wood Sorrel, Hazelnuts and a Kromeski of Wild Boar – one of the signature dishes of Brett Graham apparently.
(3) Loin of Sika Deer Baked in Hay with Crapaudine Beetroot, Bone Marrow and Malt
(4) Poached Breast and Confit Legs of Pigeon with Cevennes Onions, Foie Gras and Liquorice – the poached breast was tender and moist, and the other ingredients were bursting with flavour. The leg was presented to the table in a glass dome cover, and when the cover was lifted, the smoke and the aroma that followed was amazing. It was possibly one of the best main courses I have had for a very long time. A symphony of flavours.
(5) Blueberry Panna-Cotta with Blueberry Sorbet – I like blueberries… this was refreshing but nothing special to write home about.
(6) Caramelised Banana Galette with Salted Caramel and Peanut Ice Cream
(7) Chocolate Crèmeux with Walnut Ice Cream and Warm Chocolate Madeleines – A dessert that was beautifully presented, and the contrast in texture in this dish was amazing. It’s good to finish the meal on a high like this.
(8) Date and Vanilla Tart with Cardamom and Clementine Ice Cream – This was a special birthday treat. Nice one, and thank you for this!
Finally, the petit-fours were presented on a plate filled with cacao nibs. Not the best idea as the cacao nibs got stuck to the macaroon.
On the whole, the food was impressive – the mix of flavour worked well in most cases, and the contrast in texture in some of the dishes was interesting and memorable. One of the restaurants that I will definitely go back.
Address: 127 Ledbury Road, Notting Hill, London W11 2AQ
Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7792 9090
Monday 6.30pm – 10.30pm
Tuesday to Saturday ( Lunch / Dinner ) 12pm – 2.30pm / 6.30pm – 10.30pm
Sunday ( Lunch / Dinner ) 12pm – 3pm / 7pm -10pm
Total: 16/20 [Based on visit in May 2010]