The UnProfessional Chef

A girl's commentary on food, cooking and all things delicious!

Location: Singapore

A closet food critic and wannabe chef who loves the art of cooking and enjoying great cuisine in the company of great friends!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Deluxe Dining Pleasures

I’d read about this new-ish French bistrot in The Times in which the ordinarily-critical (and very funnily so) food writer, Giles Coren, had waxed lyrical about and named Galvin Bistrot de Luxe one of the best restaurants he’d eaten in this year. He was right. By far one of the highlights of my trip, coming a close second to the entire Borough Market experience, Galvin was a sleek modern restaurant that managed yet to retain that distinctly French bistro-like feel.

It being a typically cold and rainy London day outside, both Mr UnProfessional Chef and I decided to begin our meals with hot soup. I started with a Jerusalem Artichoke soup served with a side of Hazelnut Brioche. The smoky distinctive flavour of the artichoke set off perfectly by the crisp, freshly-baked brioche was devastatingly perfect. Mr UnProfessional Chef opted for the bargain prix fixe menu which began with a White Onion and Cider soup. This turned out smashing and very unusual. It was a revelation of creaminess set off by the surprising tanginess of the cider.

Jerusalem Artichoke soup with Hazelnut Brioche

Having already stuffed ourselves at various other places, I opted for a light main course of ‘Pot au Feu’ of Landaise chicken. The chicken was cooked to a tender whiteness and served with the freshest flawlessly prepared carrot, celery, onion, potato and leek. It was finished with a clear, parsley-filled broth, resulting in a clean-tasting combination that proved both satisfying and healthy (so I tell myself). It certainly proved that French cooking is not just all about heavy creams and rich fats.

"Pot au Feu" of Landaise chicken

Mr UnProfessional Chef opted for Plaice Meuniere with Capers and Cornichons. Expertly pan-fried to exquisite perfection, the crisp yet soft fish disappeared down his throat pretty quickly indeed. I however, managed to snap this picture before it did.

Plaice Meuniere with Capers and Cornichons

To finish, I had a St Emilion au Chocolat, a sweet, dense chocolate mousse with sponge swirled into the mix and topped with a smattering of crunchy nuts and cocoa powder. This was immensely rich but I felt suitably justified in having this given my super-healthy chicken dish. Mr UnProfessional Chef’s Panna Cotta with Oranges (fresh and candied) and Prunes arrived looking exactly like a soft-boiled egg topped with black truffles! Tasting nothing at all like that but equally delicious, the panna cotta was smooth and sublime with little visible flecks of vanilla beans set off very nicely indeed by the fruit. And just when we didn’t think it could get any better, we received two of the best chocolate nut truffles ever.

Panna Cotta with Oranges and Prunes

A truly magnificent, deluxe meal for very undeluxe prices - the prix fixe was a mere £15.50. Book your air tickets now!

Galvin Bistrot de Luxe
66 Baker Street
London W1U 7DH


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