Launceston Place (LP) is quite insanely good value. For the price of one small steak at somewhere like Hawksmoor (or perhaps Aberdeen Angus Steak House if you want to be as cliched as Jay Rayner) you can have a three course meal replete with great food, rather charming service and a lovely room.
The only question I kept asking myself during the meal is why I hadn’t been there sooner? It may be deep in the dark monied depths of West London but it is well worth travelling for.
The chef behind LP is Tristan Welch and he has just received 3 AA rosettes. He will undoubtedly receive a Michelin star sometime soon. And he deserves it. I chose LP as the place to meet up with some London foodie friends – Leluu & Fernandez, Mr Noodles, 1mGoldStars (or Gail) and Simon – and to get the kind of food and service I can’t get in Hong Kong. I.e. big cuts of meat or roasts and a waiter who doesn’t scream you in and out of your seat.
Everyone else went for the set £25 Sunday lunch menu whilst I decided to get a touch fancy and go for the £45 lunch menu. If I ever get to go back again (and I hope I will) I would go for the cheaper menu as it was just as good (and on the mains perhaps better).
My starter was a poached lobster and oyster with foam. It was quite frankly brilliant. Beautiful to look at, light to eat, delcious to taste. One could not ask for much more. My neighbours at that stage were similarly murmouring in joy as they had ordered the truffled duck egg on toast (which is apparently a bit of a LP classic). I didn’t get to try their starter and they didn’t get to try mine as we all finished ours off in quick succession. However, suffice to say full marks at this stage.
I had lamb for mains whilst everyone else went for roast beef. The header picture is of the slabs of roast beef being brought out which are then carved to order in front of you. It is a nice theatrical touch reminiscent of old hotel dining rooms. My little taste of the roast beef suggested a perfectly cooked, touch rare cut of meat, i.e. just as it should be. The side of buttermilked (I think) brussel sprouts to accompany it were a touch of fiddling too far however. My lamb was well cooked and the square of crackling hidden at the back of the picture above was an absolute highlight.
I didn’t take any pictures of my pudding as, well, it was the low point of the meal. A Islay based whisky ice-cream and chocolate souffle that came out a touch melted and a touch average. Instead there is a picture of Leluu’s pudding with its riot of small serving pots. However, my dessert was a minor disappointment in a meal which was a very enjoyable experience. Special mention must also be made of the service which was fun and judged the mood of a table of people with large DSLRs cameras snapping away at everything well. For instance, the waiter joked that he wanted everyone to catch his best side when we were taking pictures of the carving.
Now the only question is whether The Ledbury, where I am off tomorrow, is distinctly better than LP or not. If it is, I will be very very impressed.
- Price – £30 – 50
- 1A Launceston Place, London, W8 5RL