Thursday, November 24, 2011

Trip to London, UK - Day 2 (1)


This morning, we woke up late, had a small breakfast at our hotel, and then came to the Kensington Gardens.

The gardens cover a huge area and are connected to the Hyde Park.  Kensington Palace is also in the gardens where Princes Diana used to live.  It is open for public (although it's quite expensive to get in), but we didn't have time today....
宮殿の裏 (横?) にある庭と噴水。さすがにこの季節には花は咲いていませんが、多分春や夏には色とりどりの花が咲き乱れているんでしょうね。

A small garden and fountains next to the palace.  I guess many colorful flowers bloom during the spring - summer time.

In and by the lake were many swans, geese, pigeons, swallows, etc.  They were so used to humans that they were not afraid when I got very close to them.  Some of swans even came toward me (expecting food??).

We spent quite some time in the gardens, then walked to the Notting Hill area. 
目的はノッティングヒルにあるこのレストラン、Ledbury でお昼ご飯を食べること! ここはミシュラン2つ星で、すごく評判がいいので今回の訪問をとっても楽しみにしていました!

The reason we came here is to have lunch at Ludbery, a restaurant with Michelin 2 stars.  I read excellent reviews of this restaurant, and was looking forward to visiting here very much.
12時開店で (私達の予約は12時だった)、11時58分位にお店に入ったら、なんとまだお客さんは誰もいないどころか、スタッフの会議中! でも気にせずどうぞ中に入ってと言われ、席に案内してくれました。会議の内容をこっそり聞いていると、今日のお料理の内容と、誰がどの席に付くかと言う説明だったのですが、さすが2つ星だけあって厳しそうな感じでした。ちょっと気まずかったです。

The restaurant opens at noon (and our reservation was at noon), and we arrived at 11:58 am.  So we thought it was OK to get in.  But we found out that the stuff was still having a meeting (and it sounded very serious)!  The hostess welcomed us and took us to our table, but I was a bit embarrassed....

The amuse bouche was the goie gras  parfait.  Very creamy and rich.

My husband ordered a glass of white wine, but I forgot what kind of wine it was...
パンはサワードー、モルツ (麦芽)、たまねぎとベーコンのロールの3種類。サワードーはあまりかで食べるものに比べると酸っぱくありません。モルツは初めて食べる味。

We were offered three different kinds of bread - sour dough, malt, and rolls with onions and bacon.

This butter was very rich and good.
2人とも3コースのランチセットにしました。前菜、メイン、デザートそれぞれ2種類の中から選べます。夫はエルサレムアーティチョークのスープ。雉 (の一種) のおにくのソーセージ入りです。

We both ordered the3-course  lunch set menu.  Two dishes were offered for each of starter, main and dessert course.  For the first dish, my husband chose the boudin of grouse with a velouté of chestnuts and truffle.

The soup had a very delicate yet complex taste.  The boudine was surprisingly very airy and soft.

My first course was the chantilly of Colchester oysters with a tartare of scallop and oyster, horseradish and dill.

Ohhhh, this sauce was sooo good I don't know how to express in words.  It had a lot of small pieces of scallops and oysters as well.  I could have had 5 more glasses of this.
牡蠣のフライの盛り付けもすごく素敵です。牡蠣は小粒ですが濃厚な味。クラッカーは海苔を混ぜて焼いてあって磯の香ばしい匂いがしてこれまたすご~くおいしい! お店の人にすごくおいしかったというと、このお料理はつい最近できた新しいメニューだと教えてくれました。

The presentation for the fried oyster was also very interesting.  The oyster was small, but the flavor was very rich and intense.  I told our waiter that I loved this very much, and he replied that this was the new dish on the menu.
夫のメインは brill という鰈の一種のグリル。葱とジャガイモが付け合わせとして付いてきます。もう、お魚の焼き加減が最高。葱も焼いてあるのですごく甘味があります。

The main dish for my husband was the fillet of brill with grilled leek, pink fir apple potato, seaweed and smoked eel.  The fish was perfectly cooked.  Very yummy.  The leek was very sweet and good too.

My main course was the feather blade of ruby red beef cooked for eight with roasted parsley roots, pickles walnuts and cepe.  The meat was very lean and had lots of muscles, but I think the beef was cooked long enough and very, very tender.  I hardly needed to use a knife to cut it.

For dessert, I chose the selection of sorbets.  From the left, pear, apricot, and peach sorbets.  This was OK.

My husband went for the mille feuille of Ewes milk yogurt, rhubarb and clementine leaf.

Between the puffy pastry were the yogurt and rhubarb.  It was a bit sour - I preferred sweet castard instead of yogurt.
ここでお店の人が、私たちがここのお料理を大変気に入ってくれた様だからといって、サービスでデザートをもう一品持って来てくれました。うれしい~。これはお店の人もお気に入りの、黒糖のムースと生姜のアイスクリーム。まったりとしていて、でもしつこくなくてとってもおいしい! 今日1番気に入ったデザートでした。

And to our surprise, our waiter brought us additional dessert plate (for free) as he thought we loved their food very much (indeed, we did)!!  This is the brown sugar mousse with ginger ice cream.  It was very smooth yet creamy and not heavy at all and had a nice brown sugar flavor.  The ginger ice cream was excellent, too!  This was my favorite dessert here.

With our after-meal coffee, a small antique tin box was brought to our table.

Inside were cute petits fours.  I loved the presentation - so lovely. From the left, mandarin jelly, chestnut macarons, and chocolate with caramel.  Ahhh, everything (food & service) was so good.  I understand why it is so popular.  I should have  reserved for dinner, instead of lunch!!  I decided to come here for dinner when we visit London next time!!

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