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The Ledbury


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#1 UK News Team

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Posted 16 April 2004 - 09:39 AM

Caterer-Online has reported that Philip Howard is to open a new restaurant venture with his partner Nigel Platts Martin on the site of what was Dakota in Notting Hill: more details here. We will update this story when we have more details.
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#2 UK News Team

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Posted 16 June 2004 - 01:11 PM

An update from Phil Howard on this project today: current expectations are that the restaurant will open around January 2005. Although Howard will be closely involved with setting up the restaurant (which will share some similarities with Nigel Platts Martins other ventures with Bruce Poole) he will not have an ongoing executive chef role. According to Howard, "it won't be The Square II. My day to day responsibilities at The Square will be unaffected. This is where I will die. "
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#3 howardlong

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Posted 17 June 2004 - 05:23 AM

An update from Phil Howard on this project today: current expectations are that the restaurant will open around January 2005. Although Howard will be closely involved with setting up the restaurant (which will share some similarities with Nigel Platts Martins other ventures with Bruce Poole) he will not have an ongoing executive chef role. According to Howard, "it won't be The Square II. My day to day responsibilities at The Square will be unaffected. This is where I will die. "

I understand that the lovely Helena Hell (The Square, and most recently the Connaught) will be Maitre d' there.

Cheers, Howard

#4 Andy Lynes

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Posted 17 June 2004 - 06:15 AM

Really! Excellent, if rather surprising news. She was at La Trompette immeadiately before joining the Connaught.

I'm glad you used her full title by the way; when invoking the name Helena Hell, it must always be preceeded by "The lovely". Its the law.

#5 howardlong

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Posted 17 June 2004 - 06:39 AM

Really! Excellent, if rather surprising news. She was at La Trompette immeadiately before joining the Connaught.

I'm glad you used her full title by the way; when invoking the name Helena Hell, it must always be preceeded by "The lovely". Its the law.

Sorry I got that wrong - for some reason I thought she was at The Square from my conversations with her in the past (she knows The Square has never been my favourite!). She's on vacation back home in Sweden for a couple of months before returning to help set up this new venture.

To be cheeky, perhaps this would make it Hell's Dining Room, but not in the bad sense. She has always been very friendly whenever I've been greeted by her, and especially recently has always made a special effort to have a chat with me during service. Just occasionally something will happen on the ground that tells you that she runs a tight ship on service.

Cheers, Howard

#6 Andy Lynes

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 02:54 AM

The Ledbury opened for business a week or so ago according to the website holding page. Anyone been as yet?

#7 Conor

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 03:00 AM

Suprise Suprise, Circeplum got there already, her review is in todays metro. She didn't really like the food but still gave it 3 stars?!?

#8 circeplum

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 03:12 AM

i liked the place. and the food was ok - it's just it could have been better, especially given the players involved.

space didn't allow me to say how brilliant the staff were, however (apart from the lovely helena putting up with my table tantrums). our chap was affable, twinkly and knowledgeable, and i liked the astonishingly bubbly female sommelier recommending us a cheaper wine that we'd chosen - to great effect.

x

#9 Andy Lynes

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 05:26 AM

Fay Maschler weighs in with a 2 star review.

#10 circeplum

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 09:10 AM

is that online? it's 4 stars in the paper.

#11 Andy Lynes

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 12:29 PM

Yes, that's online, they obvioulsy haven't updated it to align with the new 5 star system in the paper.

#12 Andy Lynes

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Posted 28 April 2005 - 01:54 AM

I've just received a press release about The Ledbury, which is virtually BS free so I'm re-producing it here in full, along with a sample menu:

"The Ledbury has opened at 127 Ledbury Road, Notting Hill, London, W11. It is owned by Nigel Platts-Martin and Philip Howard, who together own The Square in London’s Mayfair.

The Ledbury’s Head Chef is Brett Graham, who most recently worked at The Square for four years, where he quickly rose to become Sous Chef.

Described by Philip Howard as one of the most talented chefs to have worked in his kitchen, Australian born Graham, 26, was previously at Banc restaurant in Sydney, where he won the prestigious Josephine Pignolet Award for Young Chef of the Year in 2000. In the UK, he also won the Restaurant Association’s Young Chef of the Year Award in 2002.

The Ledbury’s launch menu is £39.50 for three courses, and a short lunch menu is also available at £19.50 for two course, or £24.50 for three.

The restaurant seats 65, and also has a 30-seat terrace, which is expected to open in early June.

Other senior members of staff at The Ledbury include Helena Hell (Manager), previously at The Square, The Connaught and La Trompette, and Dawn Davies (Wine), who has also worked at The Square, in addition to the Boxwood Café and Zuma.

The Ledbury is open daily for lunch and dinner. Reservations can be made on 020-7792 9090.

The Ledbury is Nigel Platts-Martin’s 5th restaurant. His portfolio now consists of The Square and The Ledbury (both with partner Philip Howard), and Chez Bruce, The Glasshouse and La Trompette (with partner Bruce Poole)."

Menu

Ravioli of Shellfish with Asparagus and Champagne
Roast Foie Gras with a Tarte Fine of Figs and a Fig and Port Purée
Lasagne of Rabbit and Morels with a Velouté of Thyme
Terrine of Skate, Ocean Trout and Leeks with Frog Leg Beignets and Watercress Mayonnaise
Salad of Spring Vegetables with Quail Eggs, Truffle and Pea Shoots
Roast Scallops with Cauliflower, Cèpes and a Potato Emulsion


Fillet of Brill with a Fondue of Courgette, Lobster Beignet and Tomato Butter
Ballotine of Glenarm Salmon Wrapped in Pancetta with Crushed Jersey Royals,
Peas and Morels
Loin of Monkfish with Tapenade, Olive Oil Creamed Potato and Sardine Vinaigrette
Assiette of Veal with a Gratin of Macaroni and Girolles,
White Asparagus and Toasted Almonds
Loin of Lamb Roasted in Balsamic Vinegar with Wild Garlic, Artichokes and Dried Olives
Fillet of Beef with Red Wine Sauce and Croustillant of Snails, Oxtail and Celeriac
Roast Pigeon from Bresse with a Cèpe and Madeira Consommé and Foie Gras Tortellinis


Ravioli of Pineapple and Passion Fruit with Lemongrass and Lime
Chicory Crème Brûlée with Coffee Ice Cream and a Chocolate Madeleine
Vanilla Yoghurt Parfait with Blueberries and Churros
Chocolate Soufflé with Banana Ice Cream and Honeycomb
Assiette of Mango
Selection of Sorbets
Cheese

(Information courtesy of Network London)

#13 clb

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Posted 28 April 2005 - 01:57 AM

The Ledbury is open daily for lunch and dinner. Reservations can be made on 020-7792 9090. 



A warning: it wasn't open for lunch when I called in yesterday.

clb

#14 Matthew Grant

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Posted 28 April 2005 - 01:59 AM

Reads nicely, expensive for an introductory price though!
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#15 Andy Lynes

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Posted 28 April 2005 - 02:01 AM

Reads nicely, expensive for an introductory price though!

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I thought that as well, I was expecting 32.50 or 35.00 in line with the other NPM restaurants, but you have to bear in mind that this is in effect a mini-me Square (whatever Phil Howard says - the beef dish is a direct lift from the current Square menu) and a la carte there is 60 quid.

#16 Matthew Grant

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Posted 28 April 2005 - 02:14 AM

Any idea how long the launch price will be lasting?
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#17 Matthew Grant

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Posted 28 April 2005 - 04:18 AM

Hmmmm, the launch menu price is a little misleading. I just rang to see how long that will be lasting and apparently the launch price has already finished. If you read carefully it says launch menu.

The menu is priced at £39.50 for 3 courses. I look forward to my meal!
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#18 Matthew Grant

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Posted 07 May 2005 - 07:50 AM

Good meal here last night. Started with a Terrine of lobster, Jersey Royals, Salmon and leek, this was spoilt a little by the leeks having a slightly metallic taste but otherwise was nicely prepared, the watercress mayonnaise accompanying the dish didn't have enough peppery bite for my taste but was pleasant enough. The dish was accompanied by two frog leg beignets, very nice but I wasn't sure how they fitted into the grand scheme of things, seemed a little like an afterthought. The terrine looked very fresh so not sure how it picked up the metallic flavour.

The other half had Rabbit and Morel Lasagne with a thyme veloute, very good indeed, excellent morel flavour and a beautiful veloute that had been bamixed to give it some air before serving.

I moved onto a Assiette of veal with a gratin of Macaroni and wild mushrooms,
White Asparagus and Toasted Almonds. Excellent pale veal rump served rare, braised veal cheek and veal sweetbread made up the selection of veal, a strong meaty jus counter balanced the delicate flavour of the veal. The Gratin of Macaroni had a strong morel flavour to it. A sprinkling of toasted almonds over the rump was an excellent addition to make that cut more interesting.

The other main course was a Halibut dish, I didn't get to eat much of this but my other half enjoyed it greatly. If I remember correctly it came with a Lobster Beignet which she reported was a little dry and unnecessary, roasted (or confited I don't remember) cherry tomato, a tomato sauce and then my mind goes blank.

The pre dessert was an excellent Mango cream with white chocolate, I saw a couple of tables swooning over this and it was indeed beautiful

Dessert was an Assiette of Mango, a mango cream, sorbet, tatin and ???. The tatin was actually more like a steamed pudding topped with the mango, very good but not a flaky pastry. A little more thought could have led to an alternative pre dessert being offered to those who were having this dish. Chocolate Soufflé with Banana Ice Cream and Honeycomb was requested without the banana ice cream , the Maitre D' said he would see to it personally that it wasn't put in the soufflé. Well when the soufflé was served a waiter promptly tried to drop banana ice cream in it, luckily he was swiftly stopped by my girlfriend. It wouldn't have hurt for them to offer an alternative to the banana ice cream, I'm not one for messing around with chefs creations but there was both coffee and vanilla ice-creams on the menu elsewhere and both would have made suitable alternatives. Vanilla was presented once it was requested by my girlfriend. Anyway, aside from the minor serving glitch the soufflé was excellent, perfectly risen, straight sides, level top. Rich interior made richer by the chocolate sauce poured into it.

Overall a good to very good meal, solid one star cooking, wine service was a little slow, the sommelier seemed to be alone in pouring the wine so was a little busy and our wine was missing from the bill at the end, I didn't notice and it was only after paying our bill that we were advised. Nothing too major but service could do with a little more polish. No doubt at all that the food is heavily Phil Howard influenced

Incidentally, for anybody eating at Petrus or GR@RHR last night, be assured that Waring and Ramsay weren't cooking - they were huddled together in a table for two at the Ledbury last night.
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#19 Andy Lynes

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Posted 07 May 2005 - 08:59 AM

Thanks for the report, sounds as if the food is there or there-abouts, with only a few of the symptoms of chef's-first-menu-syndrome, mainly a surfeit of beignets.

Was the lovely Ms H working last night? Not that it matters of course. I'm way more interested in the food. In fact its all I'm interested in, I don't even know why I asked the question actually.

#20 Matthew Grant

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Posted 08 May 2005 - 06:08 AM

No Helena Hell on Friday :rolleyes:

My girlfriend thought the meal outstanding, definitely worh a visit now, it'll be interesting to see how the menu develops
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#21 Andy Lynes

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Posted 11 May 2005 - 07:28 AM

Guy Diamond raves about The Ledbury in this weeks Time Out (registration required).

#22 Andy Lynes

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 06:49 AM

My chances of dining anonymously at The Ledbury on Monday lunchtime were blown the minute I walked in the door and was recognised by the receptionist who used to work at La Trompette. I was also recognised by The Lovely Helena Hell ™ which, apart from being a treat all by itself, meant that I was well looked after.

I was one only five tables that day, a fact that may be partly explained by the presence of builders and scaffolding (passers by might easily assume the place isn't even open yet) and that they have only been serving lunch for a week or so. The 24.50 set menu offers an either or choice at each stage, although the full al a carte is also available. I plumped for a soup of Jersey Royals with morel tortelloni over a girly-sounding tuna with cucumber, avocado and radish salad; followed by rump of veal with mousseron risotto, broad beans and white asparagus instead of the sea bass option (which didn’t sound at all girly, but was slightly similar to a John Dory dish I’d had at The Square a month or so ago.)

The Ledbury is the sort of place that serves amuse bouches, and mine was a preparation of diced lobster served with watercress mayonnaise and a tuile-like crouton. I know that some people can't stand these little extras, but I am a total sucker for them. I appreciate the gesture and the extra effort made by the kitchen; they put a smile on my face, and not just because I’m a greedy bastard. The dish went very well with the Australian Colombard Chardonnay I was drinking, which at 17 pounds was the second cheapest bottle on the list.

Why, you may think to yourself, would you make a soup of that great British spring delicacy, the Jersey Royal? However, if you were able to capture the vegetables earthy elegance in a delicate creamy broth that was the perfect accompaniment to some very fine mushroom pasta, you wouldn't ask yourself that question. A sprig of watercress and some chive flowers added exactly the right amount of pepper and allium character to complete an excellent first course.

An unordered but gratefully received roasted foie gras with a tarte fine of figs came paired with a glass of eiswein, which added some much needed acidity to a dish pushed a little too far in the sweet direction by a fig and port puree. This was swiftly followed by a pair of panko covered, spinach stuffed frogs legs served with a pot of watercress mayonnaise, a combination that normally accompany the lobster terrine. I could have eaten a bucket of them (which, thinking about it, gives me an idea for a fast food chain.)

After all that food, its going to sound disingenuous if I start banging on about the appropriateness of eating from a set menu at lunchtime, but the veal main course was just perfect for the time and place. Thinly sliced, pink roasted meat laid over a creamy risotto of mousseron mushrooms, broad beans, asparagus and possibly some grains of pearl barley was topped with a single spear of white asparagus, a dusting of parmesan and a frothy mushroom sauce. Lovely.

The pre-dessert was in fact made with passion fruit and always has been apparently (sorry Matthew!) and turned out to be the warning shot that preceded a full on dessert attack. I nearly ran for cover as first yogurt parfait, blueberry ice cream and churros, then a full assiette of mango and finally a chicory crème brulee with coffee ice cream was laid before me. A late harvest viognier from California was a first for me, a stunning wine that went particularly well with the yoghurt dessert – a wholly successful riff on Phil Howard’s famous (at least in my house) yoghurt and donut pre-dessert.

Although chicory crème brulee sounds like a doubtful proposition, it’s a triumph on the plate. The chicory lends a subtle layer of slightly bitter flavour while keeping its vegetal qualities all to itself. Assiette of mango was composed of a mango upside down cake (not a tatin) a sort of mango cannelloni fashioned from what I can only assume was a sheet of mango gel, a terrine, sorbet, ice cream and mango crisp. The chocolate fondant madeleines served with very good espresso sat unloved and unwanted on their plate, but were I’m sure very good.

Service was exemplary, sommelier Dawn Davies was a delightful fount of knowledge and expertise and Helena Hell her usual lovely self. The room is one of designer Claire Nelson’s very best efforts, the elegant white crockery is stunning (I especially liked the little beret-style “pips” on the lids of the pots) and the chairs are incredibly comfortable.

Given the almost universal rave reviews (with more to come no doubt), its not exactly going out on a limb to say that The Ledbury is one of London’s most exciting new restaurants to open for a while. Considering it’s just five weeks old and that this is 26 year old Brett Graham’s first head chef position, I think this place has the potential to be one of London’s very best. Tom Aiken watch out.

#23 Matthew Grant

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 07:02 AM

The pre-dessert was in fact made with passion fruit and always has been apparently (sorry Matthew!) and turned out to be the warning shot that preceded a full on dessert attack.

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:shock: :unsure: :hmmm:

Might have to go back to check it out! What did the pre dessert look like Andy? Was it a Passion fruit cream?

(Note to self: disguise self as Andy Lynes to ensure extra courses when next dining out)

Edited by Matthew Grant, 18 May 2005 - 07:03 AM.

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#24 Andy Lynes

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 07:30 AM

What did the pre dessert look like Andy? Was it a Passion fruit cream?

(Note to self: disguise self as Andy Lynes to ensure extra courses when next dining out)

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Yellow/orangey looking puree type stuff (mango looking but definately passion fruit flavour) with creamy (white chocolate?) topping.

#25 Matthew Grant

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 10:06 AM

Just ran this past the better half without any prompting , she swooned and advised it was definitely Passionfruit not Mango! No idea where I got that from!
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#26 Andy Lynes

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 01:32 AM

the beef dish is a direct lift from the current Square menu

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Well, not quite actually. The Square has "fillet of aged beef with a saute of snail and morels, bone marrow and bordelaise sauce" while The Ledbury's version is "fillet of beef with red wine sauce and a croustillant of snails, oxtail and celeriac". Beef, red wine sauce and snails present in both however so I was nearly right.

#27 Carlovski

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 04:59 AM

This was swiftly followed by a pair of panko covered, spinach stuffed frogs legs served with a pot of watercress mayonnaise, a combination that normally accompany the lobster terrine. I could have eaten a bucket of them (which, thinking about it, gives me an idea for a fast food chain.)

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Any other ideas, or are just going to serve frog nuggets?
I love animals.
They are delicious.

#28 Marlyn4k

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Posted 20 May 2005 - 10:58 AM

This looks very exciting...have booked for next Thursday evening. Last night, La Trompette (under James Bennington - thanks Andy) was at least as impressive as the old regime - the warm paysanne salad and veal cheek were good picks - the cdb has gone thrice cooked chips.

#29 Andy Lynes

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Posted 21 May 2005 - 01:45 AM

I think it was time for Ollie to move on from La Trompette and I hope he does well at The Dorchester although I have to say it seems like a strange move to me.

Do let us know what you think of The Ledbury.

#30 Suzi Edwards

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Posted 22 May 2005 - 01:08 PM

Chicory- is this the breakthrough ingredient of the summer? I was served a very good chicory cheesecake with chicory ripple icecream at The Champignon Sauvage last weekend. Hadn't seen chicory for ages (I remember instant coffee with chicory from the Co-Op when I was young) and now another mention...
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