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 fine 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 terriifc 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 to £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: 28th Mar 2024 | 02nd Feb 2024 | 11th Dec 2023 | 01st Nov 2023 | 24th Sep 2023 | 26th Jun 2023 | 10th May 2023 | 08th Mar 2023 | 09th Dec 2022 | 04th Nov 2022 | 30th Sep 2022 | 20th Jul 2022 | 24th Jun 2022 | 15th Apr 2022 | 08th Feb 2022 | 14th Dec 2021 | 06th Dec 2021 | 22nd Oct 2021 | 14th Oct 2021 | 25th Jun 2021 | 25th May 2021 | 15th Oct 2020 | 28th Aug 2020 | 31st Jul 2020 | 29th Feb 2020 | 19th Nov 2019 | 25th Oct 2019 | 30th Sep 2019 | 30th Aug 2019 | 16th Jul 2019 | 18th Apr 2019 | 12th Mar 2019 | 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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  • Piotr

    I travel a lot and everytime possible I try to generate some time (and money) for a proper dinner. Michelin Guide is showing directions but yours being "inspector of michelin inspectors" is very precious for me :) The fact that for example Benares and Ritz in London both have one star is hard to understand. I'm in London just from time to time so it's not easy choice out of +70 michelin restaurants and lately I realised you constantly use Ritz London as a comparison to other places and I decided to check why. Ritz London wasn't on my list at all but I gave it a try and it was great indeed. Apart from interiors it's simply very good food, prepared out of very fresh ingredients, with superb sauces and without fireworks which often hide the fact that the cook is actually not THAT good. The only comparable langoustines I ate were in Tim Raue Berlin, but that was few years ago when you could easily book a table there. This is actually a level of at least two stars. My visit to Ducasse@Dorchester which is *** was a smiliar experience, though more pricey and the dining room in Ritz wins this competition as well. Thank you so much for your work, appreciate it a lot! Your loyal reader :) P. p.s. Just to finish - Ritz was great but from this english trip I'll surely never forget Nathan Outlaw Restaurant. Excellence of every dish in the menu. I'd say in Your scale 19 pts. Best dinner I had in UK.