Thursday, 29 April 2010
I was quite surprised to read some mixed reviews for this much-acclaimed new opening for the Galvin brothers. I have always been a big fan of Galvin at Windows although I accept that it is, perhaps, not to everyone's taste. I guess its a marmite thing, in the fact that you either 'love it or hate it'. I always find that the food at any Galvin establishment is always beautifully executed and so I struggle to digest people's reviews saying certain dishes at La Chapelle were unspecial, because simplicity is exactly what they do so very well. Having said that, often what we refer to as 'simple' is not always reflective of the labour involved in creating these perceived to be simple dishes.
There is no denying that La Chapelle is an absolutely stunning restaurant. It isn't trying to be trendy, it isn't trying to be glamourous, but it does have 'old-world' charm and an effortless sophistication that no matter how hard you try, cannot purposely be engineered these days. It is a comfortable style and elegance combined with faultless service and a smooth experience from start to finish that really makes these rare little gems so wonderful.
I chose the Dorset crab lasagne to start with that was a delicate tower of sweet crab meat bound with egg layered between fresh pasta sheets, nestled in a veloute of chanterelle mushrooms that was smooth and creamy and very moreish. For main course, I chose the absolute last thing I would EVER choose in a restaurant... CHICKEN. This is how much faith I have in the Galvins to deliver a good dish, because I almost always choose meat or fish in restaurants, heck even vegetarian mains over chicken.... Supreme of Landaise chicken with an abundance of plump Morel mushrooms, vibrant green peas and aromatic crispy shards of fried Jambon cru - an incredible amalgamation of salty ham, sweet pea, succulently moist chicken breast with the luxurious flavour of those oh-so-special Morel mushrooms that perfume the light cream sauce.
Desserts are never my thing, but this still wouldn't deter me from ordering. I plump (stupidly) for the chilled chocolate fondant with banana yoghurt ice cream and 3 meteor-looking chunks of honeycomb and a nice glass of Chateau Monbazillac to accompany it. Needless to say I made the mistake of picking the richest dessert on the menu and only managed to finish half before settling back into my chair feeling like I had swallowed a pillow.
Overall, a very enjoyable meal and I will most definitely go back soon, perhaps when the summer menu kicks in, to see what lovely summery offerings they will have for us. If you are thinking of going to Galvin La Chapelle, I wouldn't listen to reviews, instead just have a look at their menu online and if you like the menu then you should go, because - what the Galvin brothers do, they seem to do very well indeed!
Posted by Sabrina Ghayour at 15:40