I'd been looking forward to eating at the Ledbury (www.theledbury.com) for ages and had tried to get a reservation before but it was always booked up. With my birthday coming up I decided this was the time to play the reservations game and book the day the next block of tables came onto the market. So, two months ago, on the dot of 9am, I was on the phone and was shortly thereafter the happy holder of a reservation for three!
|Oyster Chantilly & Tartare|
|Flame Grilled Mackerel and Smoked Eel|
Let's begin. The amuse was a beautifully poached egg wrapped in kataifi pastry and topped with grated black truffle. Delicate, delicious.
|Macaroni stuffed with Rabbit and Chanterelles|
Course two: The Ledbury signature dish. Flame grilled Mackerel with Smoked Eel, Celtic Mustard and Shiso. I'm not a fan of mackerel, but now I'm a believer. The dish looks beautiful doesn't it? The mackerel was so tender. The small cannelloni shaped cigar is filled with a delicate smoked eel paste. The dish was offset by a deep green cucumber wheel while the shiso gave a burst of freshness. Brilliant.
|Roast Cod and Watercress|
|Pork Jowl with Spiced Cream|
Course 5: Pork Jowl with Spice Cream, Carrots and dried Chicory. Yum. I was excited when the waiter placed a plate in front of me with a massive cooked jowl on it so I could savour the smells of five spice. I should have realised it wasn't staying as his hand never left the plate. Sadly, it was whipped away quickly and replaced with the small bite you see here. This dish was all about texture. Super crunchy skin, soft gelatinous fat, tender meat.
Course 6: Saddle of Berkshire Hare with Red Leaves, Beetroot and Rhubard. Again, the plate looks amazing. This was another earthy dish but I didn't find any wow flavours here. It was a bit muted and a bum note to finish on before the sweet treats to be honest.
|Saddle of Berkshire Hare|
On to dessert. Whew, we're almost there! Well, first a pre-dessert. A palate cleanser of sorbets first. I don't recall the flavours to be honest, but it was a welcome break after the jowl and hare.
Dessert 1: Pave of Chocolate with Milk Puree and Lovage Ice Cream. I love the bright green blob of ice cream on the plate. The chocolate pave was as dense and rich as it looks, but again this was another dish that perhaps looked a bit better than it tasted.
|Pave of Chocolate and Lovage Ice cream|
|Pre dessert sorbets|
|The Birthday Souffle|
Oh that reminds me, I'll have to tell you about the time we ate squirmingly fresh oysters in Belgium. They actually recoiled from the spritz of lemon!