Living in London, it is easy to get complacent about the high standard of dining out we have in this city. When abroad, it is often the case that someone will remark, “Oh London, I have heard that the food is incredible there.” I’ll nod and try to forget that as someone living in the city, most meals are cheese on toast whilst sitting in front of the latest documentary on Netflix. However, there are times when you go somewhere special and are able to remember how truly lucky we are to live in a city that boasts not only exceptionally high standards of dining but also an incredibly diverse range of foods.
One of these instances happened when visiting Galvin at Windows on Park Lane. This restaurant is situated on the 28th floor of the Hilton hotel, boasting a captivating view over all areas of London. My companion and I plumped for their Normandy-inspired menu with accompanying wines. For starter, I chose the beetroot-cured salmon with horseradish cream, orange and kohlrabi whilst my companion went for the steak tartare, confit egg yolk, pickles & mustard mayonnaise. Although these were very standard dishes that you might expect to find on any menu, the way in which they were prepared and presented elevated to a completely new level. The salmon was delightfully flimsy, combining expertly with the horseradish cream and the orange. My companion was equally effusive about his steak tartare. He said that the texture of the meat was exquisite and was heightened by the addition of the mayonnaise.
Onto the main course and we both picked the Beef Bourguignon, which came with pancetta, braised shallot, pomme purée & red wine jus. This may have been not just the highlight of the meal but of many meals in distant memory. The way in which the beef was prepared was sumptuous, the kind of meat that you take one bit and then just gasp. It was so wonderful that I did not rush through the course but took my time, lining up the different components so as to maximise the effect when it hit my tongue.
The experience was so overwhelming that my companion was unable to continue on. I gave him some fleeting looks of sympathy before going readily ahead and choosing the toffee apple terrine, which was accompanied by caramel cream & Calvados ice cream. This was another magnificent creation, delicate and yet rich at the same time, with the Calvados ice cream being a particular highlight.
If you’re thinking that a meal like this in a venue such as this would be eye-wateringly expensive. But given that all these courses are available for £37, I would heavily recommend taking yourself off the sofa and all the way up to Galvin at Windows.
Galvin at Windows
London Hilton on Park Lane