It is now around a year since Alyn Williams at The Westbury opened and the restaurant is increasingly making its presence felt in the London fine dining scene. First came the AA rosettes (three of them, the most that can be awarded to a new restaurant) and then the Michelin star, while Alyn himself won the Craft Guild of Chefs National Chef of the Year. Not bad for a first year though Alyn's pedigree and craftsmanship were never in doubt. It is however always nice to see talent recognised and booking is becoming increasingly essential if you want to secure a table in the latter part of the week with Alyn Williams at The Westbury often now at capacity.
As we have found so often with new restaurants, even ones that set the bar as high as AW did on opening, they usually get better in time as everything beds down with the chef, the team and the restaurant; so it was the case here, and even putting aside the truffletastic nature of the menu, this seemed to us today the best meal yet that we've had at AW at The Westbury (and we've been lucky enough to have a few over the course of the year). Service, as ever, cannot be faulted and the experience, start to finish, is that of a two star restaurant.
The first menu course is scallop ravioli with white truffle. Scallop seems ubiquitous on menus in restaurants these days, and in most, it's a simple affair as they seek to allow 'the ingredients to speak for themselves', but it seldom offers a wow factor. It therefore takes a little bravery and a lot of talent to build a more complete dish around the scallop and take it up a level but here, Alyn did exactly that with silky smooth pasta encasing a generous filling of diced scallop with sweetcorn and truffle for a beautiful and elegant start.
The beef, Red Ruby from Devon is supplied by Cornish Grill (and Philip Warren Butchers) and as we've noted since the restaurant first opened (and served this beef on the menu), it is a great rare breed of British cattle with beef that is well marbled, tender and never less than 100% tasty. With a 'sauce perigourdine' and shaved truffle, the dish is right there.
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