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Ritz

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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The meal today began with Tunworth cheese and herb mousse with pickled mushrooms, truffle mayonnaise and herbs. This was an unusual dish that had better balance than I expected due to the pickling juices cutting through the richness of the cheese mousse (15/20). Crab came with watermelon jelly, compressed watermelon, Sevruga caviar and compressed egg yolk. This was a pretty dish, the saltiness of the caviar working quite well with the inherent sweetness of the crab (16/20).

The dish of the meal was John Dory that had been braised and served with cauliflower puree, asparagus, morels and champagne sauce. The fish had excellent flavour and was precisely cooked, and the asparagus and morels were lovely, but the key to the dish was the sauce. This had a precise level of acidity and so nicely complemented the fish and vegetables, with an overall effect that was very refreshing (18/20).

Beef Wellington was carved at the table and was served with celeriac puree, broad beans and Perigord truffles. On the side were soufflé potatoes as well as mushrooms and more broad beans, the beef being finished with truffle jus. The meat was a fillet of 28 day Aberdeen Angus and was nicely pink, the richness of the truffle jus a pleasant counterpoint to the earthy celeriac (17/20).

Pre-dessert was chocolate and hazelnut mousse, salted caramel, cocoa nib cremant, milk chocolate Chantilly and almond brittle. This was very enjoyable, the salted caramel working well with the richness of the chocolate and hazelnut (17/20).

Kent strawberries featured in the next dessert, which involved white chocolate mousse, strawberry champagne jelly, mint ice cream and a doughnut filled with strawberry compote. This was a pretty dish that also had good balance, the fruit cutting through the sweetness of the doughnut, the strawberries having good flavour (17/20).

With coffee there were petit fours including a chocolate caramel bar with a flavour of orange and Earl Grey. On this occasion I was being taken by a friend so I did not see the bill. However to give an idea of pricing, three courses here cost £49 and a tasting menu like this costs £95. Service, as ever here, was very carefully drilled and friendly, less formal than one might imagine given the grand setting.  Overall this was another most enjoyable meal here, the John Dory dish in particular really standing out as an outstanding piece of fish cookery combined with an old-school lesson in how to make a fine sauce, rather than a dabbing a few arty blobs on a plate. 

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Further reviews: 30th Sep 2019 | 30th Aug 2019 | 16th Jul 2019 | 18th Apr 2019 | 12th Mar 2019 | 26th Sep 2018 | 01st Aug 2018 | 04th May 2018 | 20th Apr 2018 | 13th Feb 2018 | 11th Dec 2017 | 02nd Feb 2017 | 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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