The latest restaurant to embrace British ingredients and flavours is Galvin at The Atheneum Hotel in Mayfair. Michelin-starred chefs Chris and Jeff Galvin have swapped their trademark French flavours to focus on championing produce from farms across the UK.
The resulting menu reads like a tour of Britain's culinary highlights, featuring tomatoes from the Isle of Wight, Seafood from the Cornish Coast and Wild Trout from Ireland. There's a freshness to the flavours that makes even the most indulgent dishes feel light.
The sleek five-star hotel setting and slick service lend an air of elegance and the clusters of other diners when we went to review looked suitably well-heeled. Apart from a couple of curious lapses in quality (a side of match sticks fries was actually somewhat soggy, chunkier chips and the white wine was served at almost room temperature), dinner at Galvin feels luxurious without veering into old-fashioned.
Our starter of Crisp Cornish sardines with Tartare Sauce was just the right balance of buttery breadcrumb and flaky flesh, while the Tomato, Cottage Cheese and Lovage salad had a bright greenhouse aroma and tasted like summer in a bowl. Then a tender fillet of Brixham Plaice smothered in Brown Shrimps was delicately balanced with capers and zesty lemon-soaked croutons. The emphasis on meat and seafood means vegetarians are limited in choice (and vegans need not apply), but the burrata-filled pasta is made memorable with a rich tomato ragu and a burst of black olive.
A little of Galvin's French touch remains on with a Classic Apple Tart Tatin but the real highlight of the desert menu is a the Caramalised White Chocolate with Pistachio and Raspberry and Lemon Thyme Sorbet. With the creamy texture of a creme brulee and a rich, toasted caramel flavor, it's peak sweetness - but the sorbet balances the sickliness and makes it all to easy to devour the whole thing.
|What||Galvin at The Atheneum review|
|Where||Galvin at The Atheneum , 116 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London, W1J 7BJ | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Green Park (underground)|
|Website||Click here for more information and to book|