Wednesday, 16 October 2013

The Greenhouse

New stars on the block

The GB edition of the Michelin Guide was published recently (end of September) and The Greenhouse in Mayfair was promoted to a two star level which only eight other restaurants in London managed to achieve. Michelin lately has been pretty inconsistent and I was wondering why they awarded the second star to The Greenhouse based on the dinner I had last year. In my view that dinner was at a very solid one star level but no more, just to see if they truly deserve their second star, I visited again with a few friends for another dinner.
Front of Greenhouse

A little oasis leads you to the main restaurant, tables are well spaced and the setting is your typical high end Mayfair. The bread has much improved from my last visit, nice grainy notes and well rounded flavours, however just like last time it was pre done for the whole evening rather than freshly baked like most other Michelin restaurants. 

amuse bouche

The crab dish, artichoke, coriander and rocket was a decent starter, the peppery notes from the coriander and rocket linked up nicely with the sweetness of the crab meat. The whiting was as wonderful as it can be, moist and soft with a lovely aroma. The hint of sweetness and spices from the peqiillos and curry worked well with the fish and the baby spinach added a nice crisp texture.
crab, artichoke, coriander and rocket
whiting, peqiillos ,curry, baby spinach

The lamb was a bit of a questionable dish, the lamb filet itself was cooked well, but I just wasn't so sure if the coconut milk, pineapple and rice mixture worked with the meat as I found they were two very different flavours and I felt it was two different dishes on the same plate.
lamb, coconut milk, pineapple and rice

The pre dessert Mojito lolly pop was a fun dish, crushed ice with lime, rum, sugar and mint clothed with white chocolate, very refreshing as a palate cleaner. We finished on a high with apple crumble, it was nothing like your average crumble. Beautifully presented, the apple wasn't overly sweet and still has some wonderful freshness, the hazelnut gave a nice touch of crunchy and nutty aromas while the caramel gave it an extra layer of thickness, I really enjoyed it.
apple crumble, hazelnut, caramel 
Petit four

To sum it up, the meal was a touch better than my first visit from last year. Service also greatly improved, with good eyes on detail and knowledgeable as to just how a great high end restaurant should be, but it was still not two star level for me that is for sure. Just to give it a benchmark, having eaten in all two star restaurants in London(some with multiple visits), I found it was no way near to the level of the Ledbury and Marcus Wareing for example. Two star level is all about refinement and mind blowing taste with an elegant visual to match, sadly The Greenhouse just isn't quite there yet. But then again lets not forget that the Michelin guide is not perfect itself, so stars aside The Greenhouse is still a wonderful fine dining restaurant and it is much better than most of your Mayfair restaurants.

Food 4/5

Executive chef: 
Arnaud Bignon

What I paid: 
£90 per head with 1 glass of wine

Average cost without drinks and services:
£40 lunch menu
£100 tasting menu

27A Hay's Mews, London W1J 5NY

Greenhouse on Urbanspoon

Other 2 star London restaurants blog post


  1. Getting hungrier ... and adding so many more restaurants to my list lol

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