Jason Allen 02/09/23
Launceston Place | Fine dining in Kensington
With tattoos stretching from his fingertips to his jawline, chef Ben Murphy might feel a little incongruous with the white tablecloths and understated elegance of Launceston Place.
But it’s not his tattoos that we’re interested in. It’s his talent. And that appears to be inked into his personality far deeper than the skin.
He’s been running the kitchen at Launceston Place for a few years now (since 2017), and in that time he’s made the place into his own personal foodie fifiedom. You’ll find the restaurant itself in deepest, fanciest Kensington (at Launceston Place, as it happens) where it occupies a beautiful old townhouse filled with spotless whites and silvery greys.
On the table when you sit down, you’ll be greeted by something rather odd: instead of a menu, there’s a tray with puck-shaped circles inlaid into it. Remove the circles, and they’ll reveal dishes printed beneath them. And so to order, you simply leave the ones you want to try uncovered. Orrrr let Ben Murchy choose, and just spring for the tasting menu.
Either way, things kick off with Bread & butter – with an absolutely gorgeous red pepper butter (shaped like a red pepper) and a comforting brown butter (appropriately shaped like a pillow). Then, the dishes hiding underneath those pucks range from egg & soldiers (chicken liver parfait with foamed egg served in an eggshell, with sourdough toast soldiers); a tender plate of pigeon with burnt orange; and some bracing seabass ceviche with calamansi citrus (like lemon & lime put together).
And speaking of exotic citrus, you can finish with a yuzu pudding shaped like an actual yuzu fruit (but made from white chocolate) filled with apple mousse, and finished with a little dill.
Like most of the other stuff on the menu, flavour-wise it’s actually kind of a big dill.
NOTE: Launceston Place is one now, Wednesday to Sunday. You can find out more, and make a booking at the website right here.
Launceston Place | 1A Launceston Pl, W8 5RL
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1A Launceston Pl, Kensington, West London, W8 5RL
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8.3 | Great
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