Eyes to the left, Buckingham Palace; eyes to the right, Hyde Park. Oh wait, there’s the Shard at the corner too!
This is the view you’d get on a Sunday afternoon – a 360 degree bird-eye view of Central London high from the 28th floor of Hilton Hotel on Park Lane – all while you sit sipping your aperitif and nibbling at foie gras on toast.
Fancy. The kind of Sundays … say who doesn’t dream of?
Opened almost 10 years ago, Galvin at Windows is the Michelin-starred contemporary French restaurant responsible for feeding Londoners’ into their limitless weekend dreams. Swanky atmosphere, attentive service and a prestige menu ranging from Heirloom tomatoes to Casterbridge beef, they are credits to Chris Galvin with his South-Korean head chef Joo Won and their team.
Q took me for a post-birthday lunch one Sunday. (Yes, such things do exist.)
The meal started with bread and butter and glasses of aperitifs. We were then given two postcards which they claimed to help deliver to “anywhere in the world“.
I grabbed the pen and wrote a birthday message to my mum without a second thought and Q did the same for his mum. (Our mothers’ birthdays are only two days apart!)
If you are looking for a bright and sleek, fuss-free, white-table-clothed dining place, this place would fit the bill. The floor length glass windows and bold décor tally with the food on the menu. Deep fried courgette flower with braised coco beans, stone bass with stir fried pork and guava sorbet with eucalyptus foam – each combination screams modern, new and is expressive in its own way.
^ My seared foie gras with cumberland sausage, caramelised onions and brioche to start. This pairing was in a stark contrast to the foie gras & apple pairing we usually have. In the absence of the fruit, the brioche retained the familiar sweetness. But, mind you that the sausages were the ones that really kicked the points!
^ Q’s smoked salmon, horseradish cream with caraway and dill. The usual cold starter that seldom disappoints.
Now here’s my kedgeree with mussels, shellfish and poached hen’s egg. I am a big fan of runny yolk and Indian spices and seafood so this was heaven in a plate. The rice was wonderfully soft and notes of saffron quite distinct.
Kedgeree was, in the Victorian times, a fashionable Anglo-Indian dish – a fragrant pot of boiled rice, flaked fish, curry powder, eggs and cream. It was once a popular breakfast dish in England. Places like the Wolseley have this in their breakfast menu. But, honestly, I prefer it for a hearty lunch.
^Q’s perfectly cooked rump of lamb complemented by an array of spring vegetables. I didn’t had a taste of this but according to him, the meat was crispy, tender and well-salted.
We really took our time with the food and determined to stretch out the lunch. The longer the lunch, the slower Monday comes, you see. It’s a very handy mentality.
But during our chats, I heard a slight squeak in excitement from table at the other end. I turned and saw this through the gaps on the partition.
That strawberry mille-feuille!
I knew instantly what I wanted for dessert.
^ That longing eyes of the lady were self-explanatory.
How do you say no to this bad boy? You don’t! You raise your hand and ask for a slice, immediately!
Even the server was amused by my greed. But, I apologised no further because sugar and self-control simply couldn’t co-exist.
The strawberries were fresh, in their prime and the mascarpone smoothed out the edges of the pastry entirely and literally. And much to my surprise, it came with a scoop of black pepper ice cream. Certainly a first for me!
This was Q’s hazelnut and almond Paris Brest with a scoop of toasted almond ice-cream. The taste can be easily summed up in five words – too good to be true. Alternatively, there’s nothing Paris can’t fix.
At this point, I see the couple’s developed a liking for pressing their desserts… Not sure why having the cream ooze out in excess was a very delightful feeling. Very weird people..
Since it was a birthday lunch, the meal naturally ended with some sweet nothings from the Galvin’s team…
^when sweet nothings became nothing, then it’s time to leave.
Ending this post with the view surrounding the restaurant. Also a note to my self – to stop reacting to sugar.
Cheeks are ballooning!
With love x