Galvin La Chapelle was a restaurant I used to frequent regularly in my pescatarian and then vegetarian days, for some reason I stopped going when I turned vegan. Actually, I know why I stopped going – a French restaurant, having vegan options? Non. Fast forward to 2018 and that non has become a resounding qui. Whee for me! Not only did they confirm they can cater to my dietary needs, they also said they have a vegan menu with multiple options – both a la carte and gourmand. What we chose was the set menu offer – 3 courses and a glassy of bubbly for £38. The menu looked so tempting I wanted it all! I’m still getting used to having a variety of options to choose from! Orders placed, bubbles and bread swiftly arrived with butter for my omni friend and olive oil for me. Perfect start.
For starters, my choice was a no brainer – beetroot, raspberry, radish, gingerbread and hazelnuts all on one plate? Yes please! Now this restaurant has always been big on presentation and that hasn’t changed over the years. I mean, look at this dish – jewelled discs of yellow beetroot, complementing the pink of the raspberries and pink beetroot. I love dishes like this – each bite tasting different to the one before, each being a complete revelation, a bit of this and that, crispy greens, crunchy gingerbread wafers, zingy greens. WOW. Hats off to the chef for this ingenious combination.
Next up – risotto with mushrooms and truffles. My friend ordered the same dish but the omni version and it was really interesting to see how they differed. She tried both and delivered the verdict that hers was creamy and cheesy, while mine was more oily and lemony. For me, it was rich, and I thought it was creamy enough as the rice had been cooked perfectly. The mushrooms were cooked perfectly and were exactly what was needed to cut through the rice. Only complaint – there was truffle on the plate, I could see it, but I could barely taste it… more please! As part of a set menu, no issues. But if I was paying £34.50 for this on the a la carte, I wouldn’t be a happy bunny.
Onward to dessert. Sorbet, a fruity number or banana and chocolate? Which one to go for! How to decide! I asked our lovely waitress (service was top notch, as usual) who strongly recommended the latter. Now I love chocolate but I’m not the biggest fan of banana in desserts, but she was so passionate about it, I ordered it. Thank you lovely lady!
Now chocolate sorbet in this case is a very misleading label. This should have been described as full bodied, intense chocolate ice cream – I just don’t know how they made this. Dense, flavourful and smooth. The fact that the banana was bruleed completely changed the flavour profile. Crunchy nuts, honeycomb and greens – super excellent. They should never take this off the menu!! Omni dessert – chocolate fondant with blood orange sorbet, which went down just as well as my dessert. Happy diners 🙂
I ended my meal as I normally do – a nice pot of fresh mint tea, which arrived with a rock of honeycomb and a caramelised walnut. Perfect!
I know it sometimes sounds like I like everything I eat (I choose my restaurants wisely ;), but when it comes to this place – I did. The whole combo of service, food, ambience and now variety of options will keep this a firm favourite for a while.