This is an older review. You could read the newer review here.
Dinner was at Galvin La
Chapelle a relatively new outpost of the now seemingly unstoppable Galvin brothers.
What an amazingly good looking restaurant. An old disused building in
Spitalfeilds has been renovated. The building was original built as a Chapel,
never used, was in fact used as a schools kitchen and gymnasium and then
abandoned for 35 years. Gorgeous dining room. As impressive as the Wolseley
Restaurant at St James. The Wolseley was the old Wolseley car showroom. Both
are really beautiful buildings and set the scene for good food. No
masala papad and Pizzas here with extra cheese and Jalapenos and chilli flakes,
tomato sauce and mustard on the side.
These photos were taken after we shifted tables.
We were seated at
a decidedly crowded and dodgy table and as always were the only non white table
in the restaurant. We were not going to complain, however the charming staff
[all French] themselves asked if we wanted to change and gave us another table
on a higher level. Much better and made for good photography.
La Chapelle has
just got its first Michelin star. I have realised that eating in a Michelin
starred restaurant is far less intimidating in so many ways than eating
anywhere else, especially eating street food. For example, there are menus, and
they have accurate descriptions of what you will get. Secondly the waiters have
time and patience to answer any questions you may have and most importantly
they have the ability to answer the question. Wine ordering is so simple and
results so delightful. Just tell the sommelier what you are eating, indicate a
budget and you are set. No jhanjhat. Now try [wine aside] doing this at
everyman’s street food place. Just try this at a place outside your comfort
zone, for example a Bombay walla try ordering street food in Delhi without a
guide and without having been there before. You will be all thumbs and awkward.
How many times have you been to a Chinese restaurant and envied something that
someone on the other table was having? Why? Mis description in menus. How many
times have you even gone to the US [allegedly the most casual dining place] and
not known how or what to order been bombarded with so many options, on rye,
with mustard, with mayo etc etc. Frankly as I say, it’s far easier to just go
to a good expensive restaurant. Mind you if you are a Jain with all the money
in the world you better eat at home, you have no hope eating in a civilised
world. No onion, no potato, no garlic, no ginger, no carrot no meat no fish no egg
and, whatever else that is left that you can eat, should be thikha and crispy.
|Dorset Crab Lasagne with Sauce Nantaise|
|Rissotto with spring vegtables|
|Landaise Chicken with spring veg, morels, panchetta with a asparagus pigeon jus|
|Barbary Duck breast with caramelised Shallots and an Endive Tarte Tatin|
|Cold chocolate fondant with Milk Ice Cream and honeycomb|
|Blueberry Souffle with blueberry coulis and milk ice cream|
We had a wonderful
meal. The most amazing thing was the accuracy of the cooking. The risotto was
creamy and the rice still had a bite. The spring vegetables had colour and
character. My Dorset Crab Lasagne was a work of art. The crab had been made
into a mousse and placed between sheets of lasagne. I would imagine some sort
of Chinese dim sum technique to cook it. I cannot even begin to imagine how the
dish was put together. HRH the Queens duck and my Landaise chicken were cooked
really well. I mean the cooking point or temperature of the meat was so
accurate. HRH the Queens duck was evenly pink and my chicken was cooked thru
without drying and had crispy skin to boot. Really good.
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