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Galvin at Windows
April 2, 2015
The Michelin-starred institution that is Galvin at Windows on Park Lane has been towering over Mayfair since 2006. Hailed for its impeccable service and modern French haute cuisine, we were rather curious to see if the restaurant still had ‘it’.
Our arrival on the 28th floor was decadent and friendly, as one would expect. Subtle aromas of beurre blanc and tarragon ignited the senses while the team made us comfortable in our large leather chairs overlooking London’s night skyline. The views from way up high were fantastic as was the glass of the house champagne that accompanied them. The décor ensured an unperturbed evening thanks to its creamy beige hue and low lighting.
We opted for the three-course Prestige Menu at £70 per head plus wine pairing by the superbly knowledgeable Philippe. We loved the tubular wine storage wall that housed the evening’s wine. It gave the space a strong focal point with clever lighting running through the display. Enticed by the menu in front of us, this delectable dining experience had ‘it’ written all over it from the start.
The seared Scottish scallops with white onion puree, sea vegetables and shellfish bisque were fresh, sweet and balanced with a good level of saltiness. The cured Loch Fyne salmon with Dorset crab, orange, beetroot and horseradish cream was blessed with great textures with a hint of fire for balance.
For main course we fell in love with the Iberico pork, carrot and cumin puree, crispy pig’s head and jus diablo. The pig’s head came in a long spring roll that added the perfect crunch to the delicious pork cutlet and cumin puree. Paired with a Vivanco Crianza 2010, the light uncomplicated red broke though the cumin amiably. The roasted fillet of turbot with braised octopus, seaweed pomme puree and lime beurre blanc was another standout main thanks to the delicate flavour highlights in the perfectly roasted fish. Paired with a fresh and superbly pleasant Verdicchio Vigna di Gino Verdicchio with an unforgettable honeyed sweetness that rounded off the entire dish.
While we couldn’t quite manage pudding, our waiter Angelo suggested sharing a selection of seasonal cheeses by Maître affineur ‘Buchanans’. We were so glad we did, as the selection was outstanding and consisted of a mild goat’s milk Poulingy Saint Pierre, sheep’s milk Ossau-iraty, Normandy Camembert, Époisses de Bourgogne and a lively pungent Bleu de Basques. Accompanied by a most delicious award-winning Warre’s Otima 10 port, it tasted like nectar and could be happily enjoyed any time, day or night, thanks to its light and modern appeal.
We are really not surprised then that Galvin at Windows has maintained its Michelin star since 2009. Thanks to Chef Patron Chris Galvin and Head Chef Joo Won, the level of service and quality of food hasn’t changed since the restaurant opened. It is in that consistency that restaurants of such calibre win awards and keep a loyal following. We loved our experience from the moment we stepped into the lift until we waddled out satisfied and happy. It is safe to say that Galvin at Windows has ‘it’, and will always have ‘it’.