Galvin Bistrot de Luxe, Baker Street
I still remember our first visit to Galvin Bistrot de Luxe when it was first opened in 2005 – the amazing bistro buzz, the friendly staff and the scrumptious food. It all came back to me during my second visit a week ago. The meal was as good as I remember, if not better.
I could feel the bistro atmosphere the moment I stepped into the restaurant, I loved the round hanging lights and the dark wood décor, and the fact that we were greeted by every single member of staff we walked past. It made me feel like I was in a local Paris bistro. The people chatting, and the buzzing atmosphere were a huge contrast to the quiet Baker Street.
Moving on to the food…
Escargots à la bourguignonne - I could tell the snails had a good life and been very well fed, as they were huge! It was the first time I had seen a mountain of snails that were so consistent in size. We could not restrain ourselves from dipping the bread into the leftover garlic butter, as if it was the start of another course.
Lasagne of Dorset crab, beurre Nantais – A stack of crab meat and thinly rolled pasta was precisely placed on a plate filled with a creamy butter sauce. The lasagne itself was very light, the sauce was seasoned to perfection, it was one of the best dishes I had had in years.
Rump of Cornish lamb, pomme boulangère and puy lentils
Confit duck leg, black pudding, glazed figs and Lyonnaise salad
Slow roast ribeye of pork, braised red cabbage, prunes and Armagnac jus
The high standard of cooking continued to the main courses. The quality of the lamb was top-notch, it was extremely tender. Although I am not a big fan of lentils I managed to clear the plate :) The skin of the confit duck leg was goldenly crisp, and the meat was slow cooked in its own fat, so that only a fork was needed to separate the meat from the bone. Black pudding was a strong garnish but it was creatively balanced by the sweetness of the figs. The pork ribeye was new to me, I did not try it myself but my cousin from Hong Kong said it was delicious. What a beautiful looking dish as well.
Apple tarte tatin - We had the very same dessert on our first visit. It lived up to my memory, and more. There were shiny, syrupy caramelised chunks of apple laying on a bed of crispy puff pastry, it was heavenly. We also ordered a quince tarte to share but it was nearly demolished by my cousins after I finished taking the photo of the tarte tatin... I did manage to have a few mouthfuls, it tasted a bit like a pear and almond sponge tart, the sweet qunice came through nicely from the fluffy sponge, just as enjoyable as the tarte tartin.
The Galvin brothers have taken classic French bistro cuisine to a fine dining level by delivering excellent food and service. They have managed to keep up with the new trends and ideas by opening two new restaurants in the past five years, as well as keeping a high and consistent standard in their very first restaurant. To me, it is always the best Galvin.
Galvin Bistrot de Luxe
Galvin Bistrot de Luxe