PB Eats… Galvin La Chapelle

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.


PB Eats… Texture

5 months since my last post.  Shocking.  Same excuse – life has come in the way…  and I was very distracted with work (complete change, not in a good way) and health (am now on medical leave recovering from a major op).  So what better therapy than to revisit my blog baby and fill you in on the highlights of the past few months of eating and travelling!  But first, a restaurant review.   My ever intrepid socially aware friend and restaurant expert M found yet another interesting restaurant to visit that had a decent number of vegan options.  Hello Texture, a Michelin starred European/Scandi restaurant in Mayfair.


We met for a drink in the bar first – a space that is very true to its roots – all rustic (a mini twig tree in the middle of the room)and textured (animal fur cushions 😦 ).   There was a decent drinks list, and I decided to go for my current favourite – a Negroni.  Oh my wordy… I could taste the love and attention that went into making this drink.  Perfectly bitter and zesty, exactly how I like them.  And along with the drinks – snacks on the house!  They brought some vegan snacks specifically for me 🙂 Popcorn, crispbread and crispy things.  As hungry as I was, I didn’t want to fill up on these yummy nuggets…


The decor from the bar carried through to the dining area and and it really came out in the crockery and cutlery.  The perfect balance between rustic and chic, full of character and absolutely beautiful.  Having taken our seats, we were presented with menus – champagne menu, normal menus, a vegan a la carte and tasting menu too.   The plan was to go for the vegan a la carte, which had only 4 savoury options and no sight of a dessert (spoiler alert – I left the restaurant happy, so all was well in the end).


Once our orders were placed, this cute little bread set up arrived.  Beautifully presented, the bread was warm with an impressive crust, accompanied with a jug of grassy olive oil and a little dish of volcanic black salt.  Can’t say there were explosions (ehehehe) but the combination of all three was pretty damn good.  I was so tempted to nick the spoon but I resisted.

Then this appetiser showed up – 50 shades of green and then some.  I can’t remember how they described it, but it tasted righteous and noble – I could feel the healthometer rising while I was eating it.  It was an intriguing dish of cold, chlorophyll rich green soup (juice?), topped with slivers of kale, basil granita and oil.  As a lover of all things green, I enjoyed it and thought the dish (both the actual plate and the food) lived up to the restaurant’s name.  Bring on the main course!

So any concerns regarding the restaurant’s generosity and portion size had clearly flown out the window – I was looking forward to the black rice main course I had ordered.  Would it be substantial? Would it be tasty? Would it be packed with flavour? Would it be full of texture? (sorry, can’t get away from this pun). YES on all counts.  The coconut flavoured broth was packed with galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf – essentially a tom kha.  Top that with nutty black rice and a few more al dente veggies, and what I ate was a filling and nourishing meal which left me feeling very very content.  M chose the cod – which she enjoyed too.

Completely satisfied and not even looking for dessert, I ordered a pot of fresh mint tea. M wanted dessert and appropriately chose the Icelandic Skyr, which came adorned with ice cream, fruit and crispy bits – looked quite lovely I must say.   Not wanting to be left out, they brought me a little bowl of blood orange sorbet – more like a palate cleanser, zingy, fresh and oh so perfect.  I think it was part of the vegan dessert on the tasting menu – I couldn’t have had the whole thing so this amount was ideal.  But no, it didn’t end there – they also brought out some petit fours. Oh my.  Coconut ice coated with chocolate coated with coconut shreds – another winning combination which went down very well.

It was also the last thing that went down – I was too stuffed to eat another bite.  Service I will say slowed down towards the end of the evening, but all in all, an excellent meal and I am coming back to try the vegan tasting menu.   Yum.

PB Eats… Ham Yard Bar & Restaurant

The fact that I don’t eat meat or fish or have dairy issues has never stopped me from enjoying my food.  I’m not super fussy -if there is one dish that I can eat on the menu – it’s mine.  So I regularly frequent the likes of Wagamama, Zizzi, Pizza Express, Ping Pong.. But I did keep away from the higher end restaurants, assuming that I wouldn’t have much choice.

Until I stumbled across Ham Yard Bar and Restaurant back in August 2016.  When making the booking, they confirmed that they have a three course vegan /vegetarian/gluten free menus – with multiple options !! – available for dinner.

I met up early with my partners in crime for a quick drink in the Ham Yard Bar.  Now this hotel is one of those super trendy hot spots, full of suited blokes, high heeled women….and us ;).  We were quickly led to our table when it was ready, and while the girls got their omni menu, I was graciously presented with mine.

I am a happy go lucky, quickly click before digging in kind of girl, but the more I look at my photos – the more I think – I have to improve for the sake of this blog!!  So please bear with me…

So…the starters were:
– White bean soup with truffle salsa
– Roast squash, mixed leaves, gremolata and pumpkin seeds
– Beetroot pakora, mango and spiced chickpeas

I will always make a beeline for anything truffle-y on a menu, so I went for the soup.

Mains were:The soup was velvety and the flavour was subtle – I was expecting a strong bean flavour – but it was so well balanced.  The truffle salsa – more like chopped truffle bits with truffle oil – was lovely and added to the flavour profile, but I could have done with at least three times the amount.

– Roast celeriac, dressed lentils and spinach
– Wild mushroom broth, kale and tarragon
– Roasted spring vegetables with wild garlic dressing

Although it being the middle of summer, I went for the roasted spring vegetables as I wanted something light, and I wanted to keep some room for dessert.

The veggies were lovely, the dressing vivid and super tasty.  I did have to season it a bit, and I did push the slightly burnt potato crisps to one side.  Moving onto what is usually the best part of the meal.  To be honest, I had almost accepted the responses of ‘sorry, no options’ or the plate of berries or fruit salad as the standard dessert – but today I had two choices – including the plate of berries!!
– Chocolate and avocado mousse, strawberries and nut crunch
– Seasonal berries and raspberry sorbet.

Now who would go for fruit when there is chocolate! I obviously went for the mousse.

What arrived looked like a granola pot, and to be honest, the topping on it’s own was a bit like having breakfast – but eaten with the strawberries and mousse – it was beautiful. Soft, smooth, crunchy, tasty – and not too sweet.

We ordered coffees – I had a fresh mint tea – at the end of the meal, and the girls got a single petit four with their hot drinks – a mini cone with a meringue.  The lovely waiter saw that I didn’t have anything, and minutes later, put this in front of me – how sweet!

It turned out to be a honeydew melon sorbet – yummy!   I would definitely recommend this place – and I will go back, especially since I found out that Ham Yard Bar & Restaurant does a vegan afternoon tea – birthday plans sorted!