Posts Tagged ‘Launceston Place’

Taste of Launceston Place

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

For a special occasion meal I have only a handful of London restaurants on my list. They’re high end and totally reliable, Launceston Place on a quiet backstreet in Kensington is one of them. It’s not a brash trendy restaurant and is all the better for it. It’s fairly low key, simply and tastefully decorated. It has a small bar area, two smallish dining rooms and a private dining area. The service is impeccable and friendly. The Head Chef Tim Allan during his tenure has seen the restaurant gain both a Michelin star and 4 AA Rosettes. We have been here several times over the space of 6 years before and after the aforementioned awards and Launceston Place has always been excellent. I am sure the team will keep up the good work when Tim Allan moves on to The Wild Rabbit in the Cotswolds in a few weeks time.

On this visit we had originally planned to have the Market Menu but the huge slightly daunting wine list and the tempting Tasting Menu changed my mind. I can rarely resist menus with matching wines and Launceston Place’s new Sommelier Piotr Pietras choose some stunning ones to match 5 of the 7 courses that made up our Tasting Menu.

We started with some excellent bread, two tasty canapés and a beautiful Tomato Consommé with goats cheese and micro basil. Our next course was Duck Egg with slow cooked bacon and pea cappuccino which was just full of flavour, this was served with a stunning Pinot Gris (2013 Lismore Vineyard, Ata Rangi, Martinborough, New Zealand). Next was the Glazed Duck Breast with smoked eel, beetroot, foie gras, walnuts, endive and cherry also served with a white wine (2004 Clos du Papillon, Domaine des Baumard, Savennieres, France). The forth course was our absolute favorite, a stunning Scallop dish, with glazed Chicken wing, truffle cassonade and apple blossom, perfectly matched with a beautiful Riesling (Heymann-Löwenstein, Uhlen R, Schieferformation “Roth Lay”, Mosel, Germany). Then for the main course we had Salt Marsh Lamb with white polenta and parmesan, Morteau sausage and carmalised cauliflower matched with an elegant full bodied Roija (2003 Reserva Viña Bosconia, Bodegas Raúl López de Heredia, Rioja, Spain)

The Lamb course may have looked small and delicate but it had big flavours especially the tiny slices of Morteau sausage. It was very filling, so much so that we had to sadly bypass the cheese course to leave room for dessert. The first dessert was Amalfi Lemon served in various ways including as granita and ice cream, a very refreshing and tasty palette cleanser. The next dessert was Raspberries with custard, arlette aerated white chocolate and coconut. Aerated white chocolate is a fantastic ingredient to include in a dessert, loved it. The matching wine for this was a Rudera Noble Late Harvest Chenin Blanc 2010 from  Stellenbosch, South Africa. We then finished the meal with a small selection of Petits Fours.

After our delicious lazy 3 hour lunch we strolled down to the nearest tube station Gloucester Road and used our train journey home to have a little nap. We took the slow train from Victoria Station as it’s nearer to the restaurant, so our return trip took 2 hours but the high speed train from St Pancras does the trip to Ramsgate in an hour and 20 mins making day trips to London for lunch an expensive but fairly easy option :-)

UPDATE: October 2016, Launceston Place no longer has  a Michelin Star.

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Launceston Place – a star in Kensington

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

In our last review of Launceston Place a few years ago we raised the question – Why did this restaurant not have a Michelin Star?  That is not a question we need to ask now, as Launceston Place got its well deserved Michelin Star in last years awards.

We booked for Sunday Lunch, which is a pretty good deal at £29.50 for 3 courses along with those little extras that are typical of Michelin Star venues (the amuse-bouche and the appetizer).

The amuse-bouche of béchamel cheese in choux pastry was a good start, I certainly could have eaten lots of these rather moreish cheese profiteroles, and the caramelized onion and mushroom soup appetizer that followed was rich and tasty.

For starters we ordered Hot smoked mackerel with beetroot, apple, watercress and horseradish ice cream, and Poached Hens Egg with white asparagus, followed by Cornish cod fricassee of peas and broad beans, heritage tomatoes and new season Jersey Royals, and Iberico pigs cheeks, with caramelized apples, sage mash and barbequed Leeks.

Then for dessert we had the 70% Cru Virunga chocolate mousse, caramelized bananas, glazed raisins and chocolate sorbet and the Baked English custard tart with cox apple cooked in caramel and glazed puff pastry filled with Calvados cream, which was effectively a rather lovely deconstructed Apple Tart. The only negative on the food front was the bread, which consisted of a rather ordinary selection of brown bread and sour dough.

Launceston Place is a very civilized and relaxing venue and the staff were just as efficient, professional and friendly on this visit as they were on our earlier visits. I rather like that the Michelin star has not changed Launceston Place too much – it still has the same understated elegance and charm it always had.

Marks out of 10

Food 7.3

Service 7.0

Ambiance 7.0

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LOCATION INFORMATION

Browse Google Map© :- NoExpert Food Blog – London, UK

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Launceston Place – Impressive

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

So many reviews of Launceston Place ask the same question. Why does it not have a Michelin Star?.  It is a mystery, as Launceston Place has it all.  An attractive location, first rate service and some rather impressive cooking.

This was our second visit, the first time was 2 years ago when we indulged in the tasting menu. This time we were determined to stick to the set lunch.

I could not help but compare the set lunch here with last months set lunch at the Michelin starred William Drabble. At William Drabble’s I felt that the set lunch had been well under par (inferior cooking and ingredients). It did nothing to showcase that restaurant.  In stark contrast Launceston Place pulled out all the stops.  Providing lots of extras – the home made crisps to start, a small loaf of bread with pickled herring, a lemon posset pre dessert and little lemon sponges at the end of the meal. The only negative here was that it was hard not to make a mess when eating the bread.

Then there was the meal itself.  We started with a vibrant green watercress soup with smoked eel and poached quail eggs and a warm heirloom tomato salad with home made ewes curd. However  it was the main courses that stood out. I had the Mackerel which was quite lovely, both in respect of presentation and taste. My companion had the duck, which he enjoyed so much more than the duck dish he had at Heston Blumentals Dinner earlier this year. To go with these dishes we had a side order of Jersey Royal New Potatoes, they were smothered in butter, perfectly cooked with that wonderful earthy taste that epitomises Jersey Royals – just fabulous.

For dessert we both had the Treacle Tart with creme fraiche ice cream, very nice – especially when accompanied by a generous glass of PX. We were so pre occupied talking with the Sommelier about the history and variety of PX sherries that we forgot to photograph the tart, which was quite pretty before we demolished it.

Marks out of 10

Food 7.5

Service 7.3

Ambience 7.1

Launceston Place on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

UPDATE: April 2012 – There is now a new head chef at Launceston Place – see Press Release

UPDATE : September 2012, Lauceston Place has finally been awarded a  Michelin Star.

UPDATE: October 2016, Lauceston Place no longer has a Michelin Star.

LOCATION INFORMATION

Browse Google Map© :- NoExpert Food Blog – London, UK

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Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

What’s coming next ?

The restaurants on our list for the next couple of months include some old and some new :-

LONDON – ENGLAND

  • Chez Bruce – Making a return visit, just because it’s so good.
  • Chor Bizarre – A new venue for us, reviewing the branch in Mayfair, not the one in Delhi or Noida ;)
  • La Trompette - Making a return visit after a gap of a couple of years to this Nigel Platts-Martins restaurant in Chiswick.
  • Launceston Place – Making a return visit after a gap of almost two years to Tristan Welch’s restaurant in Kensington.
  • Maze - Making a return visit,  Alex Marks formally of the Foliage has replaced Jason Atherton as head chef.
  • Morton’s Club – Making a  return visit to this exclusive private members club.
  • Roux at Parliament Square – A lunch time visit for a change.
  • Seven Park Place by William Drabble – A first time visit to this highly acclaimed restaurant in St James Club and Hotel.
  • Trinity – A first time vist to this Clapham Restaurant, its has been on the wish list for a while.

NEW SOUTH WALES – AUSTRALIA

  • Rick Stein at Bannisters – Our Australian correspondent visited Ricks restaurant in Cornwall a couple of years ago so should be in a good position to see how the Australian outpost compares.  Apparently it’s a tad warmer there than Padstow.
  • Quay – One of the Sydney’s top restaurants.

Cinc Sentits – roller coaster!

Friday, September 18th, 2009

This was our 4th visit to Cinc Sentits over a 5 year period, and I can only compare it to a roller coaster as far as consistancy is concerned, it really has been up and down.

This restaurant based on earlier experiences was almost a tie with Comerc 24 as our favourite Barcelona Restaurant. Not so this time as Comerc 24 was streets ahead. Tram Tram another old favorite pulled out the stops and easily beat Cinc Sentits to second place.

Some of the usual courses were excellent (the foie gras) but a few too many had slipped to just ordinary so that the whole meal felt a bit hit and miss. The individual courses had shrunk so that a dimple in the plate seemed to hold them.  The cheese course in particular looked really tiny, (one small piece of cheese, a minuscule tomato and a couple of leaves of rocket), but I have to say it came as a bit of a surprise as it was very tasty indeed.

One of the more substantial dishes was the fish course served in glass paper, a presentation style I have so far only seen at Launceston Place in London.

Maybe we’ll do a return next year, but with so much competition who knows.

Marks out of 10

Food 7

Service 7

Ambience 7

LOCATION INFORMATION
Browse Google Map© :- NoExpert Food Blog – Barcelona, Spain

Launceston Place to be…or not to be?

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

The only regular restaurant we ever visited in London was the Foliage. We have been going there for a number of years. Now that Chris Staines is leaving we have been on the lookout for a replacement regular lunch venue. When I say regular I mean every couple of months. You can have too much of a good thing.

In fact it was a member of the Foliage staff that recommended Launceston Place.  I had not heard of the place but made a mental note to give it a try sometime. In the mean time the Great British Menu had propelled its young head chef Tristan Welch to fame. So it was with some anticipation that we visited.

At the start of the meal we were presented with a few spicy crisps tied together with a piece of ribbon bearing the restaurant name. While very cute I didn’t really enjoy starting off my meal with greasy fingers. The food was good, peaking for me with the main course of rose veal and sweetbreads. This was very good. To finish I had my first taste of Cranachan the supposedly traditional Scottish dish (I’m Scottish and had never heard of it or had it while growing up!). It was nicely presented although I suspect a traditional Scot might not recognise it. It was okay not something to rave about unfortunately.

On the way out we bumped into Tristan and had a long conversation with him. He really is a very friendly young guy and we wish him well in the future as he really is a talented chef.

Lauceston Place has 2 AA Rosettes, I suspect a third one is not too far away.

Launceston Place was also a venue on Celebrity Master Chef this year, the winner made a point of mentioning how useful her time there was. Tristan has also been a guest chef on Saturday Kitchen.

Update :  October 2009 – This years Professional Master Chef winner Steve Groves is also on the staff.

Update : February 2010 – The Restaurant has just been awarded its 3rd AA Rosette.

Update : June 2011 – Steve Groves is now working  at Roux on Parliament Square.

Update : April 2012 – There is now a new head chef at Launceston Place – see Press Release

Marks out of 10

Food 7

Service 7

Ambience 7

Launceston Place on Urbanspoon

LOCATION INFORMATION

Browse Google Map© :- NoExpert Food Blog – London, UK