Sunday, 20 March 2011

I wished not to steal my heart.

Our table was dressed just right.
Crisp white, not too small, not too big, little salt and pepper mills lined with silver, beautifully designed Robert Welch cutleries (this happens to be exact ones that we've been longed to own). 
Now, there was only one type of wine glasses that can possibly complete this table with effortless grace. It is not because any others won't function well but it might cause a little difficulty in understanding and appreciating such an establishment with perfection.
And I was relieved to witness the one and only, Riedel.

This was The Ledbury.

It was an amazing place to be in all accounts.
The dinning room was comfortably open and warm with an understated charm.
Their team was welcoming and caring with such an exceptional knowledge about everything I put in my mouth.

We started with a glass of Champagne and a little mouthful of buttery ginger.
Selections of bread and a bar of butter on a piece of slate (I say 'a bar' because when the butter appeared on our table it resembled a beautifully handmade bar of soap you might find from JoMalone or some posh little shop in the corner of Champs-elysees) was served by sweet young man.
Quails egg and hazelnut was our pre starter.
Toby adventured on clay and salt baked vegetables while I was beaming with the joy of subtle delight of Shiso with mackerel.
It was followed by roasted (and smoked in some parts) pigeon for Toby and slowly braised milk fed shoulder of lamb for me.
There was a little pot of apple crumble to cleanse out palate.
Superbly raised blood orange soufflĂ© and the best of the best, Tokaji told me it was coming to an end. Toby enjoyed every mouthful of pear panna cotta with beautiful sips from 1950's.

But what stole my heart amongst everything else, and I genuinely think this was a lovely touch, was the last plate came to our table unexpected. 
Creme caramel presented to us with a little message saying 'happy anniversary'

The Ledbury inspired mackerel with oven baked rhubarb

for mackerel
1-2 mackerel fillets
salt and some white pepper

for rhubarb
200g rhubarb, chopped
3 thin slices of ginger, chopped like match sticks
1-2 small pieces of star anise
2tsp sugar
1 orange zest and 1/2 juice

for garnish
China radish sprouts

This dish really depends on quality of mackerel you can source. Try going to your good fish mongers and get thickest piece of fillets you can get.

Prepare the dish by criss cross the skin. Salt them lightly and good crack of white pepper would add a good kick. Let it soak the salt for, if you can, over 24 hours, if you can't, at least for 30mins.

In the mean time, get your rhubarb ready by placing all ingredients into the dish and stick it in pre heated oven at 180Âș for 15-20mins.

About 10mins before rhubarb is due to come out, and this will also depends on the thickness of the mackerel, cook your mackerel under the hot grill starting from belly side up for 4mins and skin side up for 6mins.

Plate the dish by assembling the mackerel and rhubarb with China radish sprouts and a squeeze of lemon.

The Ledbury didn't impose on being two Micheline starred establishment. 
It simply celebrated with us.


  1. Your photography is absolutely stunning and so evocative of warmth, time and place. Thanks for the recipe - simple yet well thought out. I'll be giving it a go.

  2. Such amazingly vibrant pictures! And what a fabulously unique combination.