London report: The Ledbury, Tayyabs, J Sheekey Oyster Bar and more
First of all, I would like to thank all of the chowhounders from this board as their posts helped me choosing the restaurants for my september trip to London.
It was the first time we have been to The Ledbury and we were mesmerized . My companion R had a negroni and my friend V and I had dry martinis, they were very good mixed. We discussed about having or not the tasting menu, but decided to go with the dinner prix-fixe. The main reason for that was that R and V wanted lamb and it was not on the tasting menu (we told our waiter that and he said the pork was also good, so there wouldn't be a change) and I would like to have the deer which wasn't in the tasting as well. We also thought that been almost 10 pm when we sat, tthe tasting menu would finish too late. For starter, I had scallops with cauliflowers that were very good, R had green beans and shaved foie gras which he loved, and V had the partridge, which he also loved. For mains, I had the fillet of deer with carrots and berries which was among the best dishes I have ever eaten and they adored the lamb with eggflower.I had figs with tiny doughnuts which were good, R had a passion fruit mousse (I think it was the best dessert amongst ours) and V had the chocolate tart. We also ordered some cheese. I definetly want to go back, maybe try the tasting menu with an earlier reservation.
We always go to Tayyabs when we are in London. Everything was good: lamb and vegetables samosas, chicken tikka, meat pilau which was a special dish of the day, karahi mixed vegatables curry and lamb curry. The prices are excellent as well.
We went to J Sheekey Oyster bar, ordering the plateau de fruits de mer with lobster, then octopus with paprika and scallops with chilli and garlic. V had a tart with clotted cream, that I tried and was very good. The plateau was very good, although I missed razor clams (last year we didn't have them at Sheekey, but had them in the plateau at Scott's).
We also had a good plateau at Wright Brothers Oyster House (Borough Market) and selection of rock oysters (Carlingford, Lindisfarne and Dorset rocks), although we preferred the one at J Sheekey. The visit to the market was also good, having some raw scallops and also seared ones with bacon in a stand there. We also had some cakes at a shop close to the Wright Brothers restaurant that were delicious.
R and I went to Bentley's Oyster Grill, sitting at the bar, and it was lovely. We had Loch Ryan natives and also West Mersea, very tasteful. R had octopus with capers and artichokes that he liked and I had smoked eel salad with bacon and horseradish that was terrific.
We had some oysters as well at Prunier-Harrod's: Portland princesses rocks and Colchester ones, then R had a salmon salad and I had salmon and caviar with creme fraiche.
We went with some friends to Song Que and had summer rolls, spring rolls, 2 types of squid dishes, sweet and sour pork and scallops. Everything delicious and also good value, it's definitely a place I want to go back.
We had fish and chips and fish ckes at Poppies and it was excellent.
We had some food and lots of drinks at the Campari Bar in Polpo-Beak street, which was very good.
Our choice for the best bar was Happiness Forgets, the drinks were excellent, we ended up going twice. It´s lively and loud, so people should be aware of that. Unhappily it closes at 11 pm (probably due to expensive licence to stay open after that?).
Mark's Bar at Hix was also very good, the drinks were carefully mixed and the decor is amazing.We had some Loch Ryan oysters there because we had to order some food due to licence conditions.
We went to Worship Street Whistling Shop and the drinks were good as well and the place was very busy.
Before going to J Sheekey we had drinks at Rules Bar, and R loved the negroni and V and I loved the dry martinis.
I liked a lot staying in London, already looking forward to going again as there are so many places we still want to try and some we want to go back (The Ledbury for sure).
Now that's a reassuring report. We're having a couple of nights in London for what herself and I call the "office xmas party" and we're booked at the Ledbury one night. As you, we're likely to have the set menu - we've gone off tasting menus in recent times and only order it if a place is particularly reknowned for it.
re: helen b
I'm sure I've told the story before but here it is again.
I was fortunate to take early retirement some years back. I finished at the end of a September and, a few weeks later, Mrs H asked if there was anything about work that I was missing. Jokingly, I said, the office xmas party. She replied along the lines of "well, you must have one". So, the deal was that I got to pick "something" and she got to go along without whinging about my choice. It was usually a meal - although I confess to choosing seeing the "Mama Mia" show in Manchester one year ((very camp - I loved it). Now she's also retired, it's a joint choice.
You're gonna love L'Enclume (I hope) - has to best in the north west