This meal began with a few nibbles including unusually light and fluffy cheese gougeres, with lots of cheese flavour yet meltingly delicate. The first course was a mosaic of game, a terrine involving several different meats, quince, beetroot and a truffle mayonnaise (16/20). Next was a single large langoustine tail, delicately cooked and served with cauliflower and spiced apple. The langoustine was palpably fresh, with a lovely sweetness; the only slight flaw was the cauliflower crisp was a little soggy, or I would have scored this higher (16/20).
Truffled egg was served on a pomme puree with spinach and a garnish of white truffle. The potato was smooth and buttery, the richness of the egg balanced by the spinach (16/20). A generous slab of turbot from a large fish was served with pumpkin, mushrooms and a shellfish sauce, the turbot precisely cooked and having very good flavour, the mushroom also excellent (16/20). Venison with red cabbage, celeriac and duck liver was lovely, the deer having excellent flavour, the cabbage and celeriac providing an earthy balance to the richness of the meat.
Apple parfait with vanilla and calvados ice cream was excellent, the apple not too sharp, garnished with little spheres of caramelised apples (17/20). Finally a classic Mont Blanc with caramelised pear completed the meal, the pureed chestnuts slightly sweetened and seasonal, topped with whipped cream (17/20). Service was impeccable, each waiter in the large brigade knowing his duties, and even with a packed dining room dishes appeared and were removed at a steady pace, the topping up faultless.
The Ritz is one of London’s most enjoyable dining experiences, from the pretty dining room, the comfortable chairs through to the consistently excellent classical cooking. The bill with some wine came to £120 a head, though there is a three-course menu available at £49 a head.Book
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