The Greenhouse ★★ // Mayfair // London

Mayfair’s The Greenhouse restaurant offers guests a unique way to dine in London. As you come to the end of the picturesque Hay’s Mews, you’ll arrive at a lush, tropical garden, with tall, architectural plants that create a serene retreat. Once inside the chic, neutral dining room, large windows frame the verdant view, which creates a relaxing setting for a stylish meal. It’s no wonder that The Greenhouse is popular with both business diners and couples looking for romance.

And it’s not just the setting that’s impressive – the food matches-up too. The sea bream tartare is meticulously cut and has wonderful bite, showing-off its perfect freshness. Though it’s the additions that turn this plate into something really special. Sweet and tangy passion-fruit pulp is daintily placed on the fish beside pretty blue borage flowers and micro coriander. All of these fresh tastes are then balanced-out by a delicate sprinkle of smoked paprika, which adds some earthy depth.

Another fish dish worth mentioning is the cod, which is lifted from the ordinary by an exotic combination of tamarind and corn purée. The tamarind replaces the fish’s skin and creates a wonderful tangy balance against the sweet, thick corn bath – though neither flavour overpowers the delicate taste of the flaky fish.

For the meat course, Chef Arnaud Bignon gives a master class in how to use sous-vide to full effect. Suckling pig is melted down to perfection with this precise cooking technique. It’s then given some colour and crispness in a pan, before being coated with a pesto and flecks of rich chorizo. While this might not seem like the most earth-shattering of combinations, it’s the softness of the pork that really makes this plate sing. Bignon is also at pains to make sure that the deep jus and the irony potato purée are also perfection. He takes the simple concepts and makes them sublime.

The Greenhouse also does all the other things that a ★★ star should to make you feel special. The amuses-bouches, the entremets, petits-fours, the great selection of bread and most of all the wonderful waiting staff and sommelier service. These little touches, while not affecting our views on the food really do help to show that The Greenhouse is a solid ★★ benchmark.

Square Meal
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