Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Greenhouse effect - restaurant review

Always on the lookout for a culinary bargain, last week Little B* and I took advantage of the lunchtime special offer at The Greenhouse - and three courses and coffee for £25 at a Michelin starred restaurant is pretty special.

The restaurant is situated in a maze of Mayfair streets.  As you leave the pavement, you enter a lush, tropical garden with a wooden walkway.  It's a fabulous entrance that fills you with a sense of anticipation.  Once inside the restaurant, the botanical theme continues, with pale green leather chairs and leaf motifs on the glass and walls.  But the effects are subtle, this is a chic, elegant room, hardly the Rainforest Cafe!

From the minute we walked in the door, service was ultra efficient but friendly and, I'm pleased to report, we got looked after every bit as well as other tables who were dining a la carte.  Not always the case when you're eating from the set menu (as we sadly found out at Arbutus).  We also enjoyed all the fancies and fripperies that I love so much about fine dining.

An amuse bouche of smooth, creamy avocado mousse, topped with bright jewels of salmon roe, was served with salty squid ink crackers and a cool little parcel of cucumber filled with cream cheese and mint.  A great way to start, which had us eagerly awaiting the rest of the meal.  The bread certainly didn't disappoint: butter bread, baguette or cereal.  I tried the butter bread, which was similar to a brioche, followed by a nutty cereal bread.  The bread was served with a choice of salted or unsalted butter (always salted for me!)

Vegetable “tart fine”
Parmesan cream and herb jus
I had the vegetable summer tart to start; a lovely selection of fresh seasonal veg atop a melt-in-the mouth super-short parmesan pie crust.  Delicious.
Pachino melon and watermelon
mozzarella and basil
Little B's starter was unusual and very refreshing.  The quality of the ingredients really shone through in this dish.

Steamed sea bream
ratatouille and bouillabaisse sauce
I'm a big sea bream fan and this was perfectly cooked.  Serving the fish with the skin separated was a nice touch.

We both went for the warm chocolate ravioli with coconut ice cream for pud and both agreed it was a real highlight.  The chocolate pasta was surprisingly light with a little burst of rich, hot chocolate sauce in the middle.  The creamy coconut ice cream was a lovely accompaniment.

The BEST petits fours
Nonetheless, it was the petits fours that were the real show stopper.  Exquisite.  I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that we hoovered ours up!

The wine list also deserves a mention.  Whilst we weren't able to indulge on this occasion, we enjoyed a good read of the weighty, leather-bound tome - apparently the largest wine selection in London.

The Greenhouse is home to some exceptional food, with service to match.  I most definitely recommend.

*A lot of other food bloggers use pseudonyms for their dining companions and my fine-dining chum quite fancied one too... She is small.  Her name begins with 'b'.  Geddit?!

Greenhouse on Urbanspoon


  1. I am definitely going to take advantage of this offer! Thanks for sharing. Reiko x

  2. I think it's great value when you consider the standard of food and service. Hope you enjoy! x


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