Reviewed by Justine Murphy, CEO of mymuybueno – January 2017
Under Executive Chef Arnaud Bignon, the Greenhouse Restaurant received its first star in 1996 and the second star in 2013. There is a big focus on seasonality and the highest quality ingredients with the menus changing seasonally and showcaseing Arnaud Bignon’s creativity. Set in a wonderful Mayfair mews, you walk down along some decking surrounded by blue lighting and shrubbery to enter the restaurant, which offers French cuisine with influences of the Far East. Chef Arnaud was present upon my visit.
I chose the tasting menu.
A selection of breads was presented – Baguette, Chestnut bread, Wild Anise Brioche, Brown Bread with Multiseeds. I opted for the brioche and it was delicious.
These came with two types of butter – one plain unsalted, adorned with the Greenhouse G, and one salted with different types of seaweed.
The black truffle box was also presented – this was to be shaved into my spelt dish later on.
Chive and Artichoke Ice Cream and Potato Soup. This cleaned my palate and was simple and fresh, with subtle flavours peeping through.
The first dish was my crab dish alternative. Beetroot – Provola and Walnut. This featured Provola cheese ice cream, different beetroots, beetroot powder, and a walnut crumble. I was also introduced to Billecart- Salmon – a glorious rose champagne that paired very well with this dish. It certainly has me hooked and provides a new alternative to my favourite Krug.
Veal – Ossetra Imperial Caviar, Hispi Cabbage and Dulce Seaweed. This was a beautiful piece of veal, the sauce had a touch of cream and was laden with caviar. It was indulgent but not rich, beautifully balanced, and I don’t need to tell you again how good the wine pairing was here. This was a gorgeous Bordeaux that I need to add to my own home wine cellar. I don’t usually finish my wine, but this glass I held onto.
A palate cleanser was very much in order, and arrived in the form of a large ice cube. Corn – Chili Pepper and Herb. This was a spiced sweetcorn sorbet, with a caramelized popcorn on top. This cleansed my palate and aligned my tastebuds for dessert.
The dessert was spicy and was a most unusual way to end the meal. A bold move, I felt. Coriander – Pineapple and Curry. It was certainly not your traditional dessert, and I think I can safely say it is the most intriguing one I have ever had. It featured a coriander cremoso, curry and pineapple sorbet, a curry and coconut shortcrust biscuit, pineapple pieces, and pineapple gel. It was slightly too much curry for my palate, the biscuit took it that bit over. I hate to say that, although quite out there visually, I felt it was the weakest dish of the menu.
Petit Fours emerged with a selection of handmade chocolates, and a cheesecake with a glazed vanilla maple syrup and a maple syrup middle. This was the sweet, unconfused end my palate was craving, so I felt back on track.
Krug Grande Cuvee,
Billecart- Salmon, Brut Rose 2006
Clos Floridiene, Wine De Graves, France, 2010
Grenovilles, Chablis, France, 2011
Macon – Uchizy, Les Maranches, Burgandy, France, 2011
Chateau La Gasparde, Bordeaux, France, 2011
Szamorodni, Dessiv, Hungary, 2012
Favourite Dish: Dover Sole – Potato, Parsley, Capers and Black Garlic.
Napkin Fold: Yes.
Menu to take home: Yes.
Meal for two, including wine, water and service: £650.
Final Thought: So amazing. I just loved it here. Arnaud is such a talented chef. I also adored the atmosphere – it was calm and relaxed yet refined, and I especially loved Elvis, who is the best sommelier I have experienced to date. His excellent pairings really showcased the menu and its ingredients to their full potential. I really do not rave about the wine unless the pairing is truly exceptional, which it was here, so please do not visit without doing the same, as you will not be disappointed. I really enjoyed my visit here. This is the second restaurant owned by Marlon Abela’s that I have tried, the first being Umu a few weeks ago and he should be very proud of both. I would certainly return for a romantic dinner date with my husband, as it ticks all the boxes for the perfect date-night setting.
Address: 27A Hay’s Mews, Mayfair, London W1J 5NY
Telephone: + 44 (0) 20 7499 3331
Hours: Monday – Saturday (including bank holidays) Lunch: 12pm – 2.30pm Dinner: 6.30pm – 10.30pm