A special occasion meal in 2010, the venue surely a no brainer. The Ledbury, awarded 2 stars in Michelin's annual guide, was raved about by everyone who dined there. I was beyond excited it goes without saying.
We decided to go for the tasting menu and rather than babble on about each dish I'll keep it brief as I'm sure by now most people are aware that Brett Graham and his team are dishing up some of the most consistent and exciting food in the city at the moment.
To begin, bread, a choice of three, I tried each throughout the evening, bacon and onion, chestnut and wholemeal. A canape, fois gras parfait then the amuse bouche, deep fried quails egg on a chestnut puree with truffle shavings.
Next up was the now legendary scallop ceviche with kohlrabi and horseradish 'snow'. Followed by the signature dish flame grilled mackerel with cucumber, mustard and shiso. A fine dish, perfectly representative of Graham's adventurous use of ingredients and exemplary cooking skills.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the night was the vegetable course, a plate of baked root vegetables which in lesser talented hands might have been a low point of the menu but was actually quite the opposite.
Moving onto another fish dish, poached skate with Parmesan gnocchi was one of the highlights of the meal for me. Hints of truffle and more wonderfully cooked vegetables elevating the dish without distracting from the delicacy of the fish. Perfect. For me the least successful part of the menu was the lamb that followed. So divine had the fish courses been, I don't think any meat could quite have lived up to the preceding excellence.
Next to the sweet courses. The pre-dessert passion fruit jelly with Sauternes mousse was lovely, enabling the diner to seamlessly transition from the savoury courses, with the tang of the passion fruit. Then another sensational dish, the crème caramel with orange sorbet and green tea ice cream. The combinations here were so delicious that I forgot entirely how full I was and could not have stopped eating this had my life depended on it. A lovely gesture next in an extra dessert to share, a pear tart and sorbet with a message for us!
We somehow managed to find room for cheese with yet more bread, a walnut loaf served warm. We left without petit fours which I was glad of not being able to accept another morsel.
One final note to add that never before have I experienced such exceptional service. We were given a glass of champagne on the house, an extra dessert and a visit to the kitchen to meet the chef. When asked what our favourite dish of the evening was, we both responded that the vegetable dish was a revelation and Brett presented us with some veggies they had just taken delivery of, instructing us how he cooks them and had them wrapped up for us to take home and attempt to recreate.
The time was gone 11 and the kitchen was still a hive of activity, I was surprised by how small it was and so inspired by Brett's passion and knowledge for what he does and the amazing generosity. I felt so spoiled. We were uncomfortably full due to our inability to know when enough is enough but we left with the biggest smiles on our faces.
I urge you to visit if you haven't already.
127 Ledbury Road