Tis the season yet again. Some of the best plates of food that were put in front of me this year. Links to write-ups are in the headers, so then without further ado…
17. Elystan Street
Cornish lobster, gazpacho dressing, Capezzana olive oil and avo
16. Lorne Restaurant
Spring lamb, black garlic, ratatouille, shavings of Le Caussenard and a tomato tart
15. Claude Bosi at Bibendum
Cornish turbot Grenobloise
14. Le Dame de Pic London
Breton wild abalone, lemon balm and geranium rosat, sage infused dashi
13. Dastaan, Ewell
Clockwise: Naan, chicken tikka biryani, Malabar prawns, spinach and raita,
12. Mountain and Sea House, Taipei
Suckling Pig, 3 ways
1st way: Crispy suckling pig – First plate: Crispy skin and various sauce
2nd way: Ribs
3rd plate: The rest stir-fried with pickled cabbage and in steamed bao, aka ‘gua-bao’
Mushroom and celeriac tart
Rubia Gallega Chuleton
Escalopines de bar à l’émincé d’artichauts, nage réduite au caviar golden
Feuillete de truffe noire fraiche ‘bel humeur’ , salade frisee nicoise a la creme
Provence tomato, sheep’s curd, black olive sauce, with a summer berry medley
40 day aged pork chop, sea kale, the effervescent pickled elderflower sauce and today with a grilled fresh gherkin
Sage and cobnut tart, with nut milk
Woodruff custard, cherries, fresh almonds
Perilla’s (amazing) set buttermilk with strawberries and mulberries, with grilled over lemon verbena.
Exmoor caviar tart, cornish crab, yuzu, cucumber and creme fraiche
Creme fraiche, caramelised almond, granny smith, calvados
Crab royale, steamed Colchester, crab doughnut and consommé
Pear and verbena, poire Williams sorbet
Dorset Crab, mint, cauliflower, granny smith apple, curry
Carabineros Prawn, 2 ways, stacked plates
1st way: Cooked over charcoal, served with yuzushu and almond
2nd way: Carpaccio with cucumber, radish and black olive puree
Abalone, mooli, seaweed, dashi (link)
Veal, ossietra imperial caviar, hispi and dulce (link)
Native Lobster poached in ox-ed 2005 Leflaive Batard-Montrachet. With coral sauce, Italian peas, grapefruit and endive (link)
drank with a bottle of 1995 DRC Richebourg
Slow cooked turbot, cuttlefish, smoked linzer potatoes, courgette with flower and Bouillabaisse
Yorkshire Mallard, white beetroot, charred endive, quince puree, game sausage and toast with foie and offal
Millefeuille with apricot and chamomile
Cornish turbot, line caught squid tagliatelle , Japanese mushrooms, bonito dashi
Roast wild seabass, cuttlefish, roscoff onions, ceps and ceps puree
Apricot souffle with chamomile ice cream
Carpaccio of langoustines with caviar
Roast leg of Mont St Michel Lamb, oyster emulsion, grand cru vegetables, and potato puree
1. The Ledbury
Roast scallop, blood orange, pine nuts and broccoli
Steamed cod perfectly timed, moist, glimmering and delicately flaky. Topped with skin-on and gelatinous hake jowl, served with purple artichoke, anchovy and green olive.
Middlewhite suckling pig rack, temple, belly, crackling. With hen of the woods, potato emulsion, charred onion.
Best suckling pork dish I’ve ever had. No question (Hedone included).
Pyrenean Milk-fed Lamb shoulder slow cooked overnight in miso, pulled, rolled, morels cooked in earl grey, luxurious puree of jersey royal, celery, wild garlic, gorgeous…..
Aged Belted Galloway fillet, slow braised shortrib, smoked marrow, salt baked turnip, padron puree, garlic cream and jus gras
Herdwick lamb rack and neck, padron sauce and white aubergine dusted with dried olives and black tea (link)
Brett Graham has been consistently on top form for at least the last five years, and most of his dishes have become quite iconic, and also rooted in his seasonal repertoire. But this year in 2017, I think he’s managed to find reinvention and further refinement in his cooking. Minor but significant tweaks to his perfect dishes, here and there, and all of it stacks up to something rather quite spectacular. For me, The Ledbury is the yardstick for Modern Gastronomy in London, fundamentals, handling of quality seasonal produce and the hallmark Front of House that walks the line of casual-slickness. For me, The Ledbury is the best of 2017.
And that’s it. Next year will be 10 years I been doing this. If you’re someone whose been with me since 2008, I thank you kindly for reading.
Happy Christmas folks, and see you in 2018.