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According to The Independent. 8000 diners have voted The Ledbury, the number one restaurant in Hardens Guide, for not only the superb food but the truly excellent service too. I for one will certainly not argue with that.

However as I have made contributions to said guide I,m bemused as to why I,ve not had my free copy. :wink:

Today,s Independent

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usually a different 'reporters' version sent later on, haven't done it for a while, but did this year.


you don't win friends with salad

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According to The Independent. 8000 diners have voted The Ledbury, the number one restaurant in Hardens Guide, for not only the superb food but the truly excellent service too. I for one will certainly not argue with that.

I agree. The Ledbury is excellent.


Martin

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Here`s the pics from my August 18th visit to The Ledbury. I won`t go into elaborate descriptions as it`s all been written already on here....and i agree, it`s bloody fantastic food....Nuff said , heres the pics.( oh and the full report is on my Cumbriafoodie blog )and the full set of pics on flickr. Apologies for not knowing the names two of the courses ( Amuse and pre dessert )...too much vino.

Amuse of Foie Gras tartlet with gooseberry puree and gingerbread crumb

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Amuse Bouche 2

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Salad of Heritage Tomatoes with Goats cheese with dried Olives and Herbs.

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Flame grilled Mackerel with Celtic Mustard , Avocado and Shiso

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Hampshire Buffalo milk curd with Saint Nectaire, Truffle toast and a broth of grilled Onions.

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Roast Brill with Smoked Eel , Radishes , Buckwheat and Borage.

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Pork Jowl cooked in Spices.

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Roasted Breast and Confit legs of Grouse , with Red leaves and vegetables , Foie gras and Cherries.

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Pre dessert.

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Caramelised Banana galette with Salted caramel, passion fruit and Peanut oil Parfait.

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Brown sugar tart with Muscat grapes and Stem ginger Ice cream.

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Coffee and Ledbury petits fours

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CumbriafoodieCumbriafoodie

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Had a fantastic meal at the Ledbury last week.Was definitely a menu for the guys....full of Game and white truffles , rich , classic , meaty goodness...have a wee look.

Amuse Bouche of Foie Gras parfait with Quince.

Chantilly of Colchester Oysters with a tartare of Oyster , Horseradish and Dill.

Flame grilled Mackerel with smoked Eel , Celtic mustard and Shiso.

Native Lobster with Broccoli stem , Natural yoghurt and Indian spices in Brown Butter.

Hampshire Buffalo milk curd with Saint Nectaire , White truffle toasts and a broth of grilled Onions.

Roast Scallop with Pumpkin , Clementine and Ginger.

Breast of Berkshire Partridge with Chestnuts , Iberian Ham , Sunflower seeds , Chanterelles and White truffle.

Celeriac “Risotto” with smoked Bone marrow , Parmesan , Chanterelles and White truffle.

Pigeon Kebab

Saddle of Sika deer baked in Douglas fir with White Beetroot , red wine Lees and Smoked bone marrow.

Pre dessert of Coconut and Lemongrass.

Pave of Milk Chocolate with Milk puree and Chocolate malt ice cream.

Brown sugar tart.

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CumbriafoodieCumbriafoodie

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I had the tasting with wine a couple of Saturdays ago. Possibly the day after sped.

The oyster chantilly is very good. You get the cold, raw, briney flavours contrasted by the crisp fried oyster; very fresh and very tasty. Oysters don't feature often enough for my liking.

The scallops with orangey flavours offset by quite firey ginger was also good and I also enjoyed the sika deer.

The pre dessert of pina colada flavours although served differently, was similar to the pina colada from MW at the Berkeley. I dont know if James Knappett is in the Ledbury kitchen yet.

We had tried most of the other items we ate this time on previous visits. I do silghtly regret not asking to vary a couple of plates. Not that what we got wasn't excellent, it just would have been good to try some new things.

Another very good lunch.


Martin

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We had a fantastic Sunday lunch at The Ledbury a couple of weeks ago.

We were asked if we wanted to order from the menu or if we liked they would cook for us. It wasn’t difficult to decide.

We ate

Squid ink cracker with caviar

Yuzu crème fraiche with confit sea trout

Salad of beetroots

White asparagus with duck ham, morels stuffed with chicken liver mousse and mushroom puree

Hampshire buffalo milk curd with Saint-Nectaire truffle toast and a broth of grilled onions

Turbot with crab, pine nuts, blood orange and green asparagus

Jowel of pork with liquorice and endive

Pigeon breast, confit leg, heart and wing skewered with some foie gras as a cream, rhubarb and red leaves

We shared some cheese

Pre dessert was Clementine granita with sea buckthorn ice cream and both soft and crisp meringue

We each had a rhubarb millefuille and shared a passion fruit soufflé

We asked the sommelier to choose a red and a white wine and got a very good couple of bottles. The white a Saint Romain by Mark Haisma and the red a very good, delicate French Syrah I unfortunately don’t have any more detail for.

It was all bloody good. I do think The Ledbury is brilliant and this was the best meal I have eaten there. I noticed that there are some photographs of some of the dishes we ate on the critical couple’s blog for anyone interested.


Martin

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I do find it hard to keep up with chef's nowadays - so James Knappett is no longer development chef and has gone to start up bubbledogs with his wife who used to work at Roganic with Ben Spalding who is now starting up a development kitchen... :wacko:

Anyway! Looks very interesting, bit confused though, is this going to be an eat-in type thing like they do at Sat Bains and L'Enclume? Or just an extension of the kitchen? Either way Ben's project sounds interesting


Edited by olicollett (log)

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I do find it hard to keep up with chef's nowadays - so James Knappett is no longer development chef and has gone to start up bubbledogs with his wife who used to work at Roganic with Ben Spalding who is now starting up a development kitchen... :wacko:

Anyway! Looks very interesting, bit confused though, is this going to be an eat-in type thing like they do at Sat Bains and L'Enclume? Or just an extension of the kitchen? Either way Ben's project sounds interesting

Lol. So in short Dabbous is this year's Dinner, whereas Spalding will be next year's Dabbous. It also be argued that Dabbous is this year's Roganic, albeit much harder to book.

Meanwhile Bubbledogs will be next year's Pitt Cue which is this year's Spuntino (equally you could say its next year's Burger & Lobster). Although alternately you could say the Bubbledogs will be to Big Frank and the Dogfather what Meatliquor is to Meatwagon, or what this year's Pitt Cue is to last year's Pitt Cue.

And the Ledbury Development kitchen will be this year's Aulis which was last year's version of the Sat Bains Kitchen Workshop. Which, let us not forget, was Nottingham's version of El Bulli's laboratory.

So long as to keep up with the latest trends dahling, it's all so simple! Everyone does the same thing everyone did last year just with a different name... ;-) ;-)

J


Edited by Jon Tseng (log)

More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!

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It is baffling. I thought Dabbous was this years Pollen St Social.


Martin

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Lol. Well Pollen Street Social was (obviously) last year's Maze. I'd rather say that Tom Aikens (the Mk 2 version) is this year's Pollen Street Social.

And might I also add that I wondered if PSS is this year's Texture, but I think actually that would North Road. Although Spalding could potentially be next year's North Road if he throws enough burnt hay and ash at it.


More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!

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I am in love with the Ledbury, as I am sure many people are who have experienced its unique food and fabulous service. We went last Thursday whereby I thought I had booked lunch at 1.45, however when I arrived they had no record of my booking. A quick search on the IPhone revealed I had booked for the 5th of July and not the 7th of June,(spot the error?); a heart sinking moment. The lady on reception dismissed my embarrassment with a smile and set us up with a table in the middle of the room; excellent start.

Little amuse to begin which contained goat’s cheese and asparagus, which was very good.

I was quite impressed by the beer list they had on offer and asked the Sommelier to match me a few beers to go with each dish, which he did.

Breads were as previously reported by others, with the bacon brioche being something truly special, best bread I have had in a while.

We opted for the set lunch which is a steal for £30 for two courses, £35 for three.

Breast of Quail with Hand Rolled Macaroni, Iberian Ham and Spring Truffle

: Astounding dish, really sublime and the essence of spring. A monstrous truffle was shaved at the table and was a very generous portion. Everything cooked beautifully and matched with a Goose Island.

Salad of Heritage Tomatoes with Goats Cheese, Dried Olives and Green Tomato Juice:

Dining companion’s choice. Again a very simple dish on the surface but truly exceptional in delivery and taste, with some high level umami action present. It made the rain outside disappear with its sunshine quality.

At this stage we had struck up some excellent conversations with many of the staff, the sommelier assessing his pairings and debates regarding beer and food pairing; comparing notes with an Italian Maître D’ on our recent visits to Mugaritz, Arzak, Guido and Osteria Francescana (Massimo Bottura had been in recently and was impressed by the food); an excellent young waitress who had a sharp sense of humour and the greatest stories from the conversant Bristollian. This was all achieved without it being at all intrusive, not sure how, but it did. This again is the magic of the Ledbury, as everyone in the room was totally into the vibe being created. Wonderful staff!

After a quick loo visit I returned and the next course had arrived albeit not the course I expected, as we were both generously given a "mid-course" of the famous;

Hampshire Buffalo Milk Curd with Saint-Nectaire, Truffle Toast and a Broth of Grilled Onions:

Much has been written about this dish, and rightly so. A fabulous dish which elevates French Onion soup and cheese crouton to stratospheric levels. Again appearing simple but truly complex in taste and construction. Matched beautifully with a beer from The Notting hill brewery, which is a one man band brewery (his garage) which is down the road, and of which they will be sourcing more in the future. It was so fresh the handwritten ink on the label was barely dry.

The meal was certainly gathering pace and the atmosphere in the restaurant jovial and relaxed.

Feather Blade of Ruby Red Beef with Wild Garlic, Smoked Onions, Pickled Walnuts and Bone Marrow:

I love this cut, with this specimen being cooked for 8 hours, revealing unctuous and sticky joy. The bone marrow added extra luxury with the garlic and onions adding some excellent allium spikes. This also came with some little Pomme soufflé which always impress me in their construction. Yet again simple ideas elevated. This was matched perfectly with a Trappist beer from Holland, which was Medium bodied, and finished only slightly less sweet than it started, but was somewhat dry in the finish, and held up to the beef as well as a good Barolo.

Fillet of Turbot with Asparagus, Shellfish Cream, Jersey Royals and Crayfish:

The other half reported this dish as astounding with excellent flavours and a generous helping of turbot.

At this point it was time for dessert, something I do not usually get excited about. I was given the option of cheese however after a cheese course in Sketch, Moro, and St John over the previous two days I was somewhat fromaged out. So I declined, however the staff advised that they would provide me with a spoon in case I wanted to try my partner’s dish, albeit with a wry smile on their face.

Low and behold I am presented with a dessert; I was not getting out of the party it would seem, what a touch!

Brown Sugar Tart with Muscat Grapes and Stem Ginger Ice Cream:

Excellent balance of flavours, the base on the tart perfect and the setting of the tart absolutely melting. I could eat this again and again, pure perfection.

Whipped Ewes Milk Yoghurt with Berries, Lemon Verbena Meringues and Warm Citrus Beignets:

Never got to try this as I was too busy eating my own, but was informed that is was a very intriguing and complex dessert.

From start to finish this was an amazing meal both in service, food and generosity of time and spirit. I will be returning here again soon, as it captures the balance between being fun, but serious in creating an excellent experience. Bad service rarely bothers me as there are too many extraneous variables that can contribute to this part of a dining experience, but good service is something to enjoy when it appears. Credit to all the staff that help make this environment truly special.

I think the cooking here is really original and captures something truly unique, it certainly will if it hasn’t already created a style that people will recognise as a Ledbury dish, much as they do with Noma, Fat Duck, etc.

Definitely worth One Million stars if not more :laugh:

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This is one of those places I have not been to but have been meaning to go for a few years and never quite made it. When I want to go they never seem to have availability. Not having been there I can't comment on whether they deserve their stars :wink: but what I do know is I must make the effort to get there and soon.

Andrew

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I was there on Friday evening. My two pence. Had a really lovely night.Tasting menu and wines. Location is nice, room is stylish. Nice buzz. Staff were excellent. Very relaxed Aussie waiters, and enthusiastic German sommelier. Food was very good. But just that. No faults anywhere but for me, no real standout, "wow" dishes. I think, if I was a foodie blogger type I might call it "assured". Certainly wouldn't see this as a 3* place. Would recommend it for a great night out, but in my limited experience of London high end dining, I'd go back to the Square, which doesn't have the atmosphere, but has more "wow" in the food.

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I agree, i can accept it as a 2 star but needs to do a lot more ( especially with regard to ingredient quality) to get 3 stars imo. Service is excellent.


"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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I was part of a wine lunch that was split into two groups across the Ledbury and the Square recently on the same day.

I was at the Square and the food was very good and certainly an excellent foil for the wines, the Ledbury food, judgin by photos was much showier in comparison,and i'd generally think that the Square is more classic wheras Brett tends to go off piste more. That was my first Square experience and may not have been totally representative, but I'd rather go to the Ledbury for choice.


you don't win friends with salad

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Superb dinner at The Ledbury on Monday night, maybe the best we've had in c.20 visits since it opened. I've been saying it's the best restaurant in London since 2007 and, at this stage, I don't think there's another restauarant in the city that even enters the conversation.

I didn't take notes but our menu included:

Squid crackers with turbot roe and apple, foie gras with gingerbread

Heirloom tomoato salad with dried oilves and goats cheese caneloni

A sensational salad of white peach, almonds and shaved foie gras

Lobster with Elderflower

Quail with apricots

Pigeon with cherries, beetroot and foie gras

Short rib of beef with English wasabi

Cheese

Pre-dessert

Wild strawberries with ewes milk cured and herbs

Vanilla tart with blackcurrants

Mango and vanilla mille feuille with kaffir lime ice cream

A long menu without a misstep. Both the quality of the ingredients (particulalry the tomatoes, the lobster and the pigeon) and the precision of the cooking (the lobster, the pigeon, the short rib, every piece of protein to be honest) really stood out. And they've absolutely nailed the mille feuille.


Edited by IanT (log)

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Ian - the menu seems a fair bit longer than the standard tasting menu. Is this because it was 'something special' or just a few unadvertised extras?

I have finally got around to gettng a table and looking forward to a visit next month.

Andrew

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We had an all seafood lunch today (mackerel, scallop, lobster and salmon, + desserts), and they were very kind to split everything into two portions for us so it felt a bit like a seafood tasting menu. It was the best so far in my short history at the Ledbury. Everything was conceived and executed very well, it was a lovely, lovely lunch in all dimensions with some interesting combinations (e.g. fennel 'three ways' with the lobster), yet I can also see Sheepish's point above. We were sufficiently happy that we booked there and then another lunch for next week, to try the non-seafood items. We really would like to understand the cuisine of this chef that most people (including other chefs we know and respect) praise so so highly - we still fail to be as utterly blown away as others seem to be. It may be a matter of produce as Matthew suggests (our salmon was overwhelmed by the accompanying vegetables in intensity of flavour, but on the other hand the scallops were top notch), but maybe also the style of cuisine. Or maybe it's just us.


Edited by Man (log)

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