Ms B and Mr B celebrated their wedding anniversary yesterday, so Mr B thought, why not do the obvious thing, and book us in for dinner at London’s most romantic restaurant: Michelin-starred Galvin la Chapelle.
We had recently already enjoyed two of the Galvin brothers’ other ventures: Galvin at the Athenaeum (post here) and the (also Michelin-starred) Galvin at Windows (post here). Galvin la Chapelle had been on our list for a long time, so we were truly excited when we arrived there by chauffeur-driven limousine (read our post about the awesome chauffeur service here).
We had seen many pictures of the marvellous space inside Spitalfields’ St. Botolph’s Hall (built 1890 and now home to la Chapelle), but it still exceeded our expectations. The friendly waiter led us to our table at the perfect spot: the far right-hand corner, with the best view of the hall, the décor, and everything happening around us.
After short deliberation we opted for two Menu du Chef (£38 for three courses, very reasonable, and it comes with a free glass of sparkling wine, if booked through Bookatable), with cod brandade with lobster bisque and parfait of duck liver, spiced fruit puree & orange as starters; seared fillet of seabream, braised endive, light curry & raisin dressing; and roast supreme of Landes chicken, broad beans & rosemary sauce as mains. For dessert we chose buttermilk panna cotta, poached Yorkshire rhubarb & oat crumble; and hot Valrhona chocolate fondant & blood orange sorbet. In order to include one of la Chapelle’s signature dishes, we decided to spend an extra £22.50 on their lasagne of Dorset crab, beurre Nantais & pea shoots.
The starters arrived quickly. Ms B has always been a fan of duck liver and was completely taken in by her parfait. I loved my cod brandade, which turned out to be more of a croquette with cod brandade. Can’t even remember the last time I had lobster bisque. It used to be coming with every other meal a few years ago, why on earth would everyone stop using it regularly (!?), it makes so many seafood dishes so much more flavoursome. Not unexpectedly, the highlight of the whole dinner was the crab lasagne (feature photo above). Divine. It nearly melts on your tongue and the combination of flavours is amazing.
The seabream went very well with the light curry sauce and the raisins. Ms B and I eat a lot of chicken, but somehow we never thought of it in terms of haute cuisine, more in the sense of a good basic fill. However, this chicken was a real revelation, very strong taste, perfect texture, and very appealing presentation.
Our desserts were winners, too. The chocolate fondant’s liquid inside was simply out of this world, and I was particularly fond of the poached rhubarb.
We would give the food a very good 4.5 out of 5 (compared with other Michelin-starred restaurants), but because of the perfect overall experience, this has to be a 5 out of 5.