Zagat readers in London give an Aussie chef top nod for his food

For the second year in a row, Zagat readers have named Michelin-starred
The Ledbury as the London restaurant with the best food in a new report released Wednesday.

In the 2012 London Restaurants Survey, 5,500 diners named the Notting Hill eatery as their favorite out of 1,190 establishments in Greater London for its haute French cuisine, prepared with traditional British ingredients.

Since its opening in 2005, chef Brett Graham - an Aussie native - has catapulted the restaurant into Michelin-starred status and quickly gained the attention of the culinary world and food critics internationally.

This year, The Ledbury was the highest new entry in Restaurant Magazine's S. Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants, debuting at No. 34.

For £95, (€109) a tasting menu consists of dishes like Crisp Chicken Confit with a "Risotto" of New Potatoes, Wild Mushrooms and Summer Truffle; Pork Jowl Roasted with Liquorice and Short Rib of Ruby Red Beef with Celeriac Baked in Ash, Pickled Walnuts and Bone Marrow.

Of 361 Zagat reviews, diners were nearly unanimous in their praise - 98 percent -  describing the fare as inventive, "modern but classic" with "sparkling flavour combinations."

One diner was particularly smitten with their rabbit ravioli starter and cod with pumpkin polenta main, which were "beautifully executed."

"Like staring at the sun, it's blinding - simply awesome," they wrote in April. "...Oustanding service and exquisite food - it doesn't get any better than this, folks."

The restaurant also gained international headlines last month when their staff leapt to the defense of their diners after thugs from the London protests stormed the restaurant. Armed with rolling pins and fry baskets, chefs and staff chased out the hooligans who had crashed through the glass door.

Meanwhile in the Zagat survey, The Ledbury was followed by Pied à Terre which also boasts two Michelin stars, and Japanese restaurant, Dinings. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal nabbed the Top Newcomer Prize.

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