Launceston Place is a well-established Michelin-starred restaurant, beloved of many food bloggers. My foodie friend Tirthankar and I decided to try out chef Tim Allen’s food recently.
We arrived on a damp, drizzly and overcast London evening and it was a welcome relief to step into the restaurant. The decor is classy and formal with many diners dressed for a special occasion.
As is our habit, Tirthankar and I went with the tasting menu. It’s a chance to eat more dishes and let the chef serve his best dishes.
A couple of canapés were a nice welcome as we perused the menu.
The tomato consommé with goat’s cheese and micro basil was a good combination on paper but the tomato consommé lacked the flavour punch of some that I’ve had elsewhere.
Duck egg, slow cooked bacon and pea cappuccino was another tried and tested combination but the pea cappuccino lacked the sunshine sweetness of the best I’ve tasted.
Glazed duck breast was served with smoked eel, young beetroot, cured foie gras, walnut, compressed endive and cherry was the most elaborately plated dish on the menu but I struggled to find a good combination in any single mouthful.
Native lobster, tortellini of claw, girolles, apricot, borlotti beans, smoked almonds and crispy chicken skin was my favourite course. The lobster was the star on the plate but once again, sone of the combinations jarred a little.
Veal, white polenta and Parmesan, Morteau sausage, caramelised cauliflower and veal Madeira was my favourite dish. Cooked to pink tenderness, the meat had a deep, rich flavour.
Variations of Amalfi lemon was a nice palate cleanser
Raspberry, custard and arlette, aerated white chocolate and coconut concluded the meal. The contrasting sorbets were the most interesting elements on the plate.
Overall, we thought Launceston Place was a solid meal but not overly memorable. We’re glad we went but it didn’t set our tastebuds alight.
Addendum: since I dined there, Tim Allen has left and the kitchen is now under chef Raphael Francois.
Food: ★★★☆☆ Service: ★★★★☆ Ambiance: ★★★★☆ VFM: ★★★★☆ Overall: ★★★☆☆
Price: Fine dining prices but I felt that it failed to deliver on that level
1a Launceston Place, Kensington, London W8 5RL