Having worked their combined chef whites off to create some of London’s best fine dining restaurants, Café de Luxe offers an altogether different proposition from what the brothers Galvin have become renowned for. However, despite being the most financially accessible restaurant in their mini-empire, Café de Luxe seems to have been overlooked by many as a serious dining proposition.
Located next to Spitalfields market, the all-day bistro and bar offers an informal experience with a menu centred on wood-fired meat and fish dishes as well as flat breads with gourmet toppings. The restaurant is just as well suited to a quick bite and a glass of wine as it is a lengthy (and boozy!) lunch.
However, dismiss it at your peril, for what Café de Luxe provides is a taste of Galvin brilliance for everyday prices. Consider the Tarte flambée for example. Essentially a bacon, onion and crème fraiche pizza, its price of £8.50 puts it square into Pizza Express territory – despite being a far higher quality and delicious dish. This theme runs all the way through the menu. Starters of Country terrine with pickled apple puree and Steak tartare were perfectly seasoned and clearly made using top quality ingredients.
Mains too were excellent. Duck confit was beautifully cooked, with a crisp skin and the softest of meat inside; accompanied by cassoulet beans and Toulouse sausage, this was classic bistro food at its best. Similarly, the Wood roast cod with piperade, clams & aioli is a light and delicious dish that will delight many a guest with a glass of wine over the sunnier months. Pricing again was excellent, with both generous dishes coming in at £15 and with no sides available, there are no pricey additions to add to the bill. Our delicious desserts of rich Chocolate tart and an obscenely boozy Baba au rhum completed an excellent meal.
Cuisine type: French/Bistro
Dinner for two (excluding drinks): £55
Galvin Café de Luxe
35 Spital Square
London, E1 6DY
Tel: 020 7299 0404