Hotel dining with the "G" factor?
|Chicken liver parfait|
Galvin at The Athenaeum is the latest creation by the Galvin brothers, it is only normal for foodies and fine dining lovers to take notice with this new opening. Galvin has already got several successful and highly popular restaurants in London, including the Michelin starred Galvin at the Window and Galvin la Chapelle. The Athenaeum is located inside a 5 Stars hotel with the same name on the floor, and judging from the menu, the food is very similar to Galvin's Bistrot de Luxe on Bakery Street, with a mixture of classic British and French dishes, along with some more "casual offering", such as pasta and soup.
|Deep fried whitebait|
|Sea bream, pumpkin and fennel|
We opted for the lunch menu, the chicken liver parfait was finely done, it had a great balance of earthiness and smoothness without a trace of bitterness. I especially enjoyed the accompanying blood orange which gave a touch of refreshing taste to set off the parfait's richness. For my main of corn fed chicken, I was hoping for something a little bit more special. The meat was a touch overcooked and the grilled leeks wasn't really working for me due to the very tough and chewy texture, it was a fairly standard dish at best. The pear and almond tart was a very average dish. It wasn't overly sweet whilst it maintained the freshness of the pear, however, the pastry was moist and pretty cold and I wondered how long it has been left in the fridge.
|Chicken breast, potato aligot and onions|
|Pear & almond tart, vanilla cream|
It was hard to judge a restaurant based on it's 3 course set menu, as the quality of the ingredients from set menus usually is not as good as an a la carte or tasting menu. However, I did find that The Athenaueum was missing the usual standard you would expect from a Galvin restaurant, it lacks identity and I felt like I had just dined in another standard hotel restaurant. As the location was surrounded by plenty of other high quality restaurants, I would wonder how The Athemaeum will compete and I certainly don't think it will be enough by only throwing the "Galvin" brand name on front of its restaurant.
What I paid:
Average cost without drinks and services:
116 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 7BJ, UK