lunches at Galvin at Windows...

Galvin at Windows, my favourite restaurant with a view... Perched high above London on top of the Hilton, it's has enviable vistas from every window. The greatest joy is that no matter how many times you've been, you notice something new...

I was meeting up with my darling Valerie and the effervescent Sarah (she of the excellent Brock Hall Farm goat's cheese).  Galvin was unanimously chosen as our venue - indeed Valerie and I became friends because of Galvin - we're both utterly addicted to André Garrett's foie gras, duck pastilla and date consommé - it's one of our favourite dishes anywhere.

After being charmed by the lovely Fred Sirieix and Andrew Sicklin, we took to our table and proceeded to laugh riotously for hours - it was an excellent lunch indeed.

What did we eat? André recently took part in the Roux Scholars trip to Japan, so I was delighted to see a number of Japanese influences on the menu - it's probably my favourite cuisine!

The scallop 'ceviche' was definitely not ceviche, but a more delicate Japanese sashimi offering, with a dressing of what tasted like rice wine vinegar, mirin and soy...  The scallop disks were set on top of fine disks of daikon (I think), and topped with cucumber and radish.

Scallops ceviche, radish, cucumber, blood orange and soy

The pressed terrine was served with an excellent crisp and fluffy slice of brioche.  The foie itself was soft and unctuous, though the inclusion of some pressed chicken (or perhaps quail?), made it difficult to spread adequately. This didn't stop Valerie and I from snaffling piscatorian Sarah's foie from her plate!

Pressed terrine of foie gras

The perfectly cooked brill was a fantastic combination of delicate umami depth in the dashi broth, and dense white flesh.  I love this dish and last night ate it for the second time in a week.  The potato may seem like an unusual addition, but actually it heightens the savouriness of the dish and adds a lovely textural contrast.

Poached fillet of Cornish brill, herb potato crust, enoki, shellfish and dashi broth

The deconstructed cheesecake was a complete delight - a fine sheet of jelly covers a rich and creamy cream cheese confection. The crumb was served around the plate, and makes much more sense than the compressed brittle cardboard found a the bottom of most cheesecakes. Texturally it included nuts, and larger pieces of crumb, which off-set the creaminess of the cream cheese. There were also cubes of fresh orange salad, which cleansed the palate and added a jucy depth.  The tiny meringue horns and marmalade peel added another tangy dimension - an absolutely delicious combination of flavours and textures.

Baked cheesecake, orange and lemon balm salad, lemon marmalade

There's a reason Galvin at Windows is one of my favourites - the menus constantly evolve, and the service is absolutely excellent. Combine that with some of the best views in London, and how can you go wrong? We had an excellent meal there on Valentine's night too, and the restaurant was absolutely buzzing with groups, couples, and star-stuck lovers... Now if I can just convince André to re-instate the foie-gras dish for Valerie and I, I'll move into the hotel downstairs!

London Hilton
22 Park Lane 
London W1K 1BE

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