One of the places I’ve been meaning to go to for a long time is Launceston Place. Though never been awarded a michelin star, this place is one of those ones foodies rave about and can’t believe has missed out on any awards. Located in the a very neighbourhood-ly part of the city just a short walk away from High Street Kensington you walk into a lobby and are immediately greeted by staff who take your coats.
They do a really great value three course lunch for £22, but even the tasting menu of six courses at £60 is very reasonably priced when you look at what other people are charging these days. We opted for the latter, having a bit more time on a Saturday for a leisurely lunch.
At the table they presented some home made crisps that had been delicately dusted with a spicy mix and tied together with some of their own ribboning. Wonderful presentation and something very nice to snack on while deciding on what to eat.
The picture of the dining room. Dark wood panels, lots of bright light and high ceilings makes the place feel very spacious. The tables aren’t crammed right next to each other and a very comfortable distance apart.
Homemade sourdough bread – super crispy on the outside with that chewy interior and served with some wonderfully creamy butter lightly salted. It also came (slightly hidden in the picture) with some picked onions but wasn’t a big fan of them. They didn’t have a problem replacing the bread the first time, leaving it there throughout the meal and even asking if we wanted it replaced a third time (but really I had nibbled on far too much bread already!)
An amuse bouche to clean the palette walnut mousse, apple sorbet. A great combination with the mousse adding a richness to the dish as the sorbet works to prepare your mouth and start the appetite.
The dish was smoked pigeon served atop some onions and oats mixed with some whisky. The pigeon was surprisingly soft and very well cooked and the whisky flavour not too strong in the oats.
A beautifully seared scallop with some sauce and fresh herbs. Whatever it was, it didn’t really last long. The scallop was meaty, perfectly cooked and seriously big. Mmmm. I would have liked another one of these.
My favourite dish of the day. Here we ahve a truffled poached egg with a toasted sourdough and a trail of mushroom sauce. So. Full. Of. Umami… More bread but the crispness of the sourdough worked well to add texture to a dish made of otherwise soft ingredients.
This was the fish dish that I found slightly overseasoned (tends to be a European kitchen thing) but the fish was a very generous portion and perfectly cooked, full of moisture and flavour. A great variety of greens as well.
This was a dish made up crispy pork and pork loin. Unfortunately I found the “crispy” element a bit lacking and found a rather chewy, fatty piece of skin that I didn’t really start or finish. The pork meat underneath the skin was very well cooked and appropriately served with some stewed apples. The pork loin was just as well perfectly cooked. Pink but still juicy.
Our dessert course actually started with another cleanser, in the form of a lemon posset cream. Super thick, yet very creamy and amazingly strong lemon flavour. Yum.
Strangely enough I’ve never had a souffle let alone a chocolate one before. I can’t really judge whether or not this was a good quality one. It certainly remained high and fresh and had a very light, chocolatey texture. It tasted a lot more eggy than I imagined it would, probably because I’m more familiar with a chiffon style cake than a souffle but a surprisingly great first one. In the background you can see there a jar of whisky (Lamphroaig) that was amazingly smoky and peaty. It worked well with the chocolate.
As if that wasn’t enough, to finish off with our tea and coffee, little madeleines and vanilla cream.
Service overall was very good, although we noticed our waiters slightly nervous, coming across as slightly under confident in presenting their dishes. I’m not really sure why because they all stood out with quality ingredients, great composition and in general, amazing flavours. I’ll definitely be coming back here sometime.
Name: Launceston Place
Found at: 1A Launceston Place, W8 5RL, London