150 Piccadilly, London, England, W1J 9BR, United Kingdom

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Chef interview

John Williams MBE is the head chef of the Ritz Hotel in London.

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I have written many reviews of The Ritz on this site, so please see earlier reviews on the other tabs for general background and discussion of the menus and wine list. My latest meal meal began with a series of nibbles there was tartlet of Tunworth cheese topped with compressed pear and autumn truffle, a cornet of beef tartare with oyster emulsion and Oscietra caviar, and cylinders of coronation chicken.  I am always fond of the Coronation chicken, but the beef tartare was excellent too (17/20 average).

Salt-baked celeriac was the first of the season from Cornwall, served with grated goat butter and grated autumn truffle and served with a rich Perigord sauce flavoured with Madeira and black truffles and finished with foie gras. This is a stunning dish, showing that you do not need a lump of animal protein to make a really satisfying plate of food (easily 18/20).

A Scottish langoustine tail was beautifully cooked and was served with young Cornish vegetables, and aromatic nage sauce, dulse (a red seaweed) and fennel flowers. The langoustine was alive and kicking before being prepared for this dish, and had lovely inherent sweetness. This is one of my favourite dishes at The Ritz and is stellar: a lovely ingredient that has been beautifully cooked and served with a sauce and accompaniments that complement and showcase it well (19/20).

Next was turbot from a very large 8.2 kg fish, braised and served with cauliflower mousse, Oscietra caviar and a creamy sauce made with champagne and leeks. The turbot had excellent flavour and was cooked well, the sauce an effective pairing for the fish (17/20). The main course was Bresse duck aged for ten days, then roasted and glazed in honey and spice and finished with lavender. This came with confit beetroot, salt baked beetroot, pickled beetroot ribbons, beetroot puree, pickled blackberry and duck sauce infused with beetroot. The duck had lovely flavour and the different textures of beetroot went very well with it, the sharpness of the pickled blackberry cutting through the richness of the meat (18/20)

White chocolate mousse came with lemon curd, aereated white chocolate and lemon sorbet. This was a superb dish from one of the very best pastry sections in the UK. It was refreshing, cleverly made and pretty to look at (19/20). Also excellent was apple millefeuille, a lovely combination of caramelised apple, puff pastry, almond brisket, vanlla diplomat and Calvados ice cream (18/20). Service was slick as it always is here. The bill came £177 a head all in, which I don’t find at all unreasonable for the quality of food that appeared. The Ritz is right at the top of its game at the moment.


Further reviews: 01st Aug 2018 | 04th May 2018 | 20th Apr 2018 | 13th Feb 2018 | 11th Dec 2017 | 02nd Feb 2017 | 15th Jun 2016 | 27th Jan 2016 | 26th Aug 2015 | 28th Feb 2015 | 21st Dec 2013 | 24th Aug 2013 | 30th Apr 2013 | 29th Dec 2011 | 01st Feb 2011 | 01st Dec 2010

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