We started off the new year on a high, with lunch at The Ledbury. There were two menu options. The special lunch Menu at £45 or the Tasting Menu at £75, both available with matching wine. Such a tough choice, but it was The Ledbury and we just had to go down the “More” route. We had matching wines for each course (including a matching wine for the amuse bouche) making a total of 8 glasses each (I think). Pretty heavy for lunch time drinking I have to say. In retrospect the “Less” route might have been the more sensible choice.
We found the restaurant to be rather quiet on this visit, only a few tables were in use during our mid week lunch. So if you pick your day carefully it is possible to get a reservation at this temple of gastronomy.
We started with Chantilly of Colchester Oysters with a Tartare of Scallop and Oyster, Horseradish and Dill – a very elegant dish, this was followed by Flame Grilled Mackerel with Smoked Eel, Celtic Mustard and Shiso. Then we had Hampshire Buffalo Milk Curd with Saint-Nectaire and Truffle Toast. The Truffle Toast was the highlight for me, delicious. We were four glasses down at this point when we moved on to the fish course of Roast Native Lobster with Broccoli stem, Natural Yogurt and Indian Spices in Brown Butter. This was followed by Pork Cheek cooked in Pedro Ximénez with Puffed Grains and Spiced Cream and Roast Haunch of Fallow Deer with White Beetroot and Smoked Bone Marrow and several more glasses of well matched wines. We finished with a light pre-dessert and the dessert of Pavé of Chocolate with Milk Purée and Lovage Ice Cream.
The food was universally good, we just felt that we had over done it. I am always happy to go to The Ledbury but I think next time I will stick to the set lunch.
One tip though, if you do want to go down the Tasting Menu route, is to do it at lunch time – the Tasting Menu is £30 cheaper then than the one offered in the evening.