It’s safe to say that the world of top-end cuisine has firmly moved into the realms of art. As with most modern art, it’s no longer just a purely visual thing. The very best chefs are dedicating their lives to creating dishes that invoke all of the senses and give the diner a sense of satisfaction and happiness equivalent to life’s very best experiences. But every so often restaurants are faced with customers who simply have no idea of the effort and concept behind the food. I was recently sat adjacent to the single most ignorant dining couple on earth at the simply brilliant Galvin at Windows. To cut a long story short, they’re in a classic French restaurant, but ask for spicy dishes, complain that a perfectly seared tuna dish is raw(!!) and douse their food in Tabasco. How the service staff maintained their composure I have no idea, but I had half a mind to throw them out of the 28th storey restaurant myself!
Set on the top floor of the Park Lane Hilton hotel, Galvin at Windows provides quite simply the finest views across London of any restaurant. The gold and green dining room is effortlessly elegant, and there is an equally impressive bar area where visitors can enjoy cocktails and light snacks.
The whole place was buzzing by the time Ms Pancake and I arrived on a Friday evening, setting a relaxed tone to the meal ahead. We opted for Chef André Garrett’s eight course Menu Dégustation (£75, £110 with wine) and sat back in anticipation for what was to be a truly memorable meal. The procession started superbly with a silky smooth and punchy Jerusalem artichoke velouté, with mushroom and garlic tortellini. Perfectly seared Landes foie gras was cleverly topped with hazelnut & citrus for texture and to subtly cut through the richness, and was well-complemented by the pain d’épices; one of my favourite dishes ever. By contrast, the pistachio topped Fillet of Scottish halibut, with a light grapefruit vinaigrette and sat on a bed of crab pommes écrasées was a masterful lesson in how to balance delicate flavours. This was followed by a hearty dish of Slow cooked Old spot pork belly, braised cheek, clams, gem lettuce & Puy lentils and some wonderful cheeses, including a delightfully nutty, creamy and slightly sweet Comté.
To finish, the warm Dark chocolate palet d’or, cookie crumbs, salted caramel & malted milk ice cream was quite simply the finest chocolate dessert EVER; delicately spongy on the outside, rich gooey 72% chocolate on the inside with crunchy texture running all the way through from the caramel. As you’d expect, the meal was matched with some truly outstanding wines from their 21 page list, including a wonderfully light Vouvray and a big, powerful Saint-Joseph.
Overall, Galvin at Windows provides one of the great dining experiences in London. Moreover, if the full on menu we tried isn’t to your eating or spending capacity, they’ve currently got some great deals, including a varied three course dinner menu for £33.
Cuisine type: Classic French
Dinner for 2 (excl. drinks): £33/£58/£75 per head
Galvin at Windows
22 Park Lane, London,
United Kingdom W1K 1BE
Tel: 020 7208 4021