For those without a sense of humor or an apple stuck up their butt, the title of this post is facetious. Someone posted in a previous blog about me being a Tory, which is pretty far from the truth considering 1) I’m not British and 2.) I come from a working-class family.
To celebrate our vacation from work, our recent wedding, and our delayed honeymoon, Will made reservations at The Ledbury, a two-star Michelin restaurant in London. We were actually in the country for the wedding of our friends Andres and Gyda (in Cambridge). Since I had never gone to Europe before, we made it a European vacation and stopped by London for a few days before making our way to Italy.
I know next to nothing about London geography and neighborhoods, but based on the houses we passed while getting to The Ledbury, I could tell it was a (as the locals call it) a posh neighborhood. Because we had reservations, we were seated promptly. The first thing I noticed there was the unusual rock on the table. It was black, with varying gradients in the light. I could think of no other purpose it served other than being a conservation piece because we got into a brief chat about it with the table next door.
Will chose the vegan tasting menu while I chose the regular one. We were unsure of which wine to get and I didn’t want to go with the tasting course wine pairing since I think wine pairings for each dish makes me feel rushed. I’d much rather sip on the same wine throughout the meal than have to constantly switch wines. The sommelier was helpful in suggesting a wine that would be robust enough to go with my tasting menu, but light enough not to overshadow the flavors in Will’s vegan tasting menu.
Since we had several dishes and an event that overshadowed the actual meal, I’ll only mention some highlights such as the bread service. That was the best bread in a restaurant I had ever had. The bread that came in a basket was crackling on the outside, moist and soft on the inside, and came with delicious butter and a nice, grassy olive oil for Will. To top that off, there was also some sort of bread made with crystalized malt that had a fantastic savory, smokey flavor. I’m not sure if it’s vegan or not, but Will had a taste and he declared it too delicious to not be vegan. In addition to that, there was also a bun that looked like a cinnamon roll, but was actually a brioche rolled with caramelized onion. I could eat that all day.
Will’s food all looked artful and tasted good as well. One dish came out in a shell of a log that reminded us of the World’s Best Restaurant in Copenhagen. I had a taste of one dish that seemed to be just two measly pieces of broccoli, but boy, was it good broccoli.
For myself, I really enjoyed the scallop carpaccio and quail egg on toast. What I liked most about the dishes I had at The Ledbury was that some dishes had elements of molecular gastronomy, but it wasn’t the focus of the dish. For example, the scallop carpaccio had some sort of iced wasabi or mustard cream sauce as well as small spheres of something, but they were accompaniments to the excellent and fresh scallop.
A little more than halfway through our meal, we were interrupted, so I can’t say much about the rest of the tasting menu. Based on the dishes we were served previous to that, I predict that they would have been pretty damn good. I know the cheese cart smelled good, at least.
Some picturess of our meal below: