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Two London venues named among the World's 50 Best Restaurants of 2015

ledbury 2.jpg

Two luminaries of the London food scene have made it onto the list of the World's 50 Best Restaurants for 2015.

Winners for the awards, which are regarded as rivals to to the Michelin Guide, were announced by Restaurant Magazine amid much fanfare in London last night.

The UK's highest entry was London's Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, in seventh place. The restaurant, located in the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Knightsbridge, is famed for its experiential, modern twist on traditional British recipes.

The only other British entry came in the form of The Ledbury, which ranked number 20 on the list. This Notting Hill hangout is something of a celebrity in the culinary world, with consistently outstanding food from head chef  Brett Graham and his team, and two Michelin stars to its name. 

The Catalan restaurant El Celler de Can Roca was crowned the number one best restaurant in the world at last night's awards, reclaiming its title from 2013 (it was knocked off the list last year by Copenhagen favourite Noma).

Set up by three brothers, the Girona institution has three Michelin stars and is prized for its avant-garde take on classic Catalan dishes, from lobster ceviche topped with frozen lime to sourdough ice cream.

"A meal in the tranquil glass-walled dining space is at once comforting and yet gastronomically challenging, the food simultaneously artisanal and technical, with references to both the traditional and the avant-garde," said the judges, in awarding  El Celler de Can Roca first place. "Crucially, this is a restaurant that has never forgotten its humble roots, its sense of familial warmth, or the need to serve remarkably delicious dishes and outstanding wines."

Meanwhile, the shortlist hailed Dinner by Heston Blumenthal - open for just under five years - for "carving out its very own niche".

"Firm signature dishes such as meat fruit (a ball of chicken liver parfait encased in mandarin jelly) and tipsy cake (brioche soaked in Sauternes, brandy and vanilla cream served with spit-roast pineapple) have long gained cult status, but Dinner continues to reinvent the past with ever-evolving creations," the panel said.

"It offers flavour-led cooking that showcases 600 years of British cuisine and provides diners with a world-class contemporary dining experience."

At twentieth place on the list, The Ledbury was also singled out for its ingenuity.

"The airy restaurant is redolent with discreet luxury, as is the menu, which features truffles and foie gras alongside humbler ingredients that are accorded equal respect, such as jowl of pork with fennel, mousserons and elderflower honey or the salt baked turnips served with Herdwick lamb," its entry reads. 

"The restaurant champions the best of British produce, with provenance to the fore, including Hampshire buffalo curd alongside Scottish langoustines, Middle White pork from Huntsham Farm in Herefordshire and Belted Galloway beef... Asian flavours make an appearance too, with sake enlivening a dish of Cornish sea bass and shiso adorning a starter of flame grilled mackerel, pickled cucumber and Celtic mustard." 

The Ledbury in Notting Hill

The Ledbury in Notting Hill

The World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards are pulled together by a group of 1,000 chefs, food writers, critics and restaurateurs from 27 regions across the globe. The shortlist was established in 2002 and is now regarded as a leading authority in culinary circles, and one which can sway the fortune of restaurants it singles out for praise. 

Each person on the panel votes for the restaurants they've had the best experience at in the past 18 months, although the awards have come under fire for their vague qualifying criteria. 

The awards feature many similar names from year to year, but Ultra Violet in Shanghai and White Rabbit in Moscow counted among two newcomers in this year's awards. 

Take a look at the full list of 2015 winners, below.

The World's 50 Best Restaurants of 2015

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

  1. El Celler De Can Roca, Girona, Spain
  2. Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy
  3. Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark
  4. Central, Lima, Peru
  5. Eleven Madison Park, New York, USA
  6. Mugaritz, San Sebastian, Spain
  7. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London, UK
  8. Narisawa, Tokyo, Japan
  9. D.OM, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  10. Gaggan, Bangkok, Thailand
  11. Mirazur, Menton, France
  12. L'Arpège, Paris, France
  13. Asador Etxebarri, Atxondo, Spain
  14. Astrid y Gastón, Lima, Peru
  15. Steirereck, Vienna, Austria
  16. Pujol, Mexico City, Mexico
  17. Arzak, San Sebastian, Spain
  18. Le Bernardin, New York, USA
  19. Asurmendi, Larrabetzu, Spain
  20. The Ledbury, London, Britain
  21. Le Chateaubriand, Paris, France
  22. Nahm, Bangkok, Thailand
  23. White Rabbit, Moscow, Russia
  24. Ultraviolet, Shanghai, China
  25. Fäviken Järpen, Sweden
  26. Alinea, Chicago, USA
  27. Piazza Duomo, Alba, Italy
  28. The Test Kitchen, Cape Town, South Africa
  29. Nihonryori Ryugin, Tokyo, Japan
  30. Vendome, Bergisch Gladbach, Germany
  31. Restaurant Frantzen, Stockholm, Sweden
  32. Attica, Melbourne, Australia
  33. Aqua, Wolfsburg, Germany
  34. Le Calandre, Rubano, Italy
  35. Quintonil, Mexico City, Mexico
  36. L'Astrance, Paris, France
  37. Biko, Mexico City, Mexico
  38. Amber, Hong Kong
  39. Quique Dacosta, Denia, Spain
  40. Per Se, New York, USA
  41. Mani, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  42. Tickets Bar, Barcelona, Spain
  43. Borago, Santiago, Chile (joint 42nd with Tickets Bar)
  44. Maido, Lima, Peru
  45. Relae, Copenhagen, Denmark
  46. Restaurant ANDRE, Singapore
  47. Au Plaza Athenee, Paris, France
  48. Schloss Schauenstein, Furstenau, Switzerland
  49. Blue Hill Farm, New York, USA
  50. The French Laundry, Yountville, USA


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