Galvin at Centurion

Continuing with the Glavin’s brothers and this time it is their latest restaurant, Galvin at Centurion. Their newest venture is located on a stunning golf course in Hertfordshire which is only 10 minutes drive from St Albans city centre.

Galvin at Centurion

The menu is simple with a range of choices, including some of the well known dishes from the Galvin’s brothers.

Starters I had Galvin’s signature dish, Lasagne of Dorset crab, beurre Nantais & pea shoots (£14.50). The dish was beautifully cooked with full of crab meat. It definitely did not disappoint.

Galvin at Centurion

Mains I choice the Roast corn-fed chicken, griolle & onion tart, mushroom & thyme veloute (£22.50). From just reading the menu I was not sure what to expect, but it was a clever combination. The chicken on its own did not have much flavour, but it did not need to because the flavours from the tart and sauce. When you put every single ingredients together it brings the whole dish alive. All the flavours from each component on the plate worked well together.

Galvin at Centurion

Dessert I went for my favourite soufflé. That evening they were serving Soufflé of Provence apricot & Valrhona chocolate (£8.50). Unlike the ones at Galvin La Chapelle and Galvin Bristrot de Luxe which comes with chocolate sauce. This version did not come with the chocolate sauce. I actually prefer it to come with chocolate sauce and it does give that extra touch watching your waiter pouring it for you. Neitherless the soufflé itself was nice and light. I defintely would not want to share any of Galvin’s soufflé.

Galvin at Centurion

We finished our meal with complimentary chocolate truffles and macaroons. I remember having these at their other Galvin branches.If you are a fan of dark chocolate like me then these chocolate truffles are gorgeous.

Galvin at Centurion

Galvin at Centurion is a lovely place to dine and I would recommend to visit. It is in Hertfordshire which you can make a day out of it by doing a day trip to St Albans. But to get to the Centurion Club you will need a car as there are no public transport link. If you want to get a glimpse of the beautiful view looking out to the golf course then you go when it is still day light.

Visit my instagram @CheCheMui for more highlights of the other dishes that we ordered.

(Not sponsored. Menu and prices are correct at the time of visit)

Galvin at Centurion
Centurion Club,
Hemel Hempstead Road,
Hemel Hempstead,
HP3 8LA

http://www.centurionclub.co.uk/section/3/1/galvin-at-centurion

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Galvin La Chapelle (Galvin Gastronomic 5-course Menu)

This Summer has been gastronomic and I am really grateful to be able try out so many new openings and revisiting some of my favourite places.

One of the place I revisited was Galvin La Chapelle. Over the Summer they offered their Galvin Gastronomic 5-course menu for £29. It included Galvin’s signature dishes including two of my favourite dishes, their Dorset crab lasange and soufflé.

Galvin La Chapelle

The Galvin gastronomic journey started with the Parfait of Goosnagh duck liver, Rhône peaches & pain d’épices. The duck liver parfait was light in flavour and creamy in texture. It went well with its friend, toasted bread. The slice of peach pair well with the parfait to make a good mouth cleanser.

Galvin La Chapelle

The second course was my beloved Lasagne of Dorset crab, beurre Nantais & pea shoots. I was intrigued to see if it was as good as the one I had at their other restaurant, Glavin Bristrot de Luxe. The verdict is it did not disappoint and was as gorgeous as I remember. The dish was full of flavour and the combination of the lasagne, crab meat with the light sauce worked well.

Galvin La Chapelle

It was follow by our third course which was the Pot roast suprême of Landes corn fed chicken, risotto of girolles & soft herbs. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this dish, as I am skeptic about ordering chicken especially the chicken breast as it tend to be dry. But this chicken was beautifully moist.

Galvin La Chapelle

The fourth course was the Fourme d’Ambert, grape chutney & walnuts. You will need to love your strong cheese to appreciate this dish.

Galvin La Chapelle

For the final and fifth course was the Raspberry soufflé, Valrhona chocolate sauce. It was beautiful to watch our waiter split open the soufflé and pour the valrhona chocolate sauce in to it.

The soufflé was light and the sharpeness of the raspberry was balanced out by the chocolate sauce.

Galvin La Chapelle

Galvin La Chapelle

We did have an additional course which we did not need after the 5 course gastronomic feast. But a birthday is not one without a birthday cake and we ordered one directly from Galvin La Chapelle.

It was a chocolate sponge cake which was an indulgent and just thinking about it while I am writing this make me want to have a piece now.

The layer of sponge and cream was just perfect and although the cake looked rich it was not at all. The sweetness was just right for me. Even the birthday boy was impressed and said it was the best birthday cake he had this year!

Galvin La Chapelle

Previous review of Galvin La Chapelle: https://chechemui.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/galvin-la-chapelle/

(Not sponsored. Menu and prices are correct at the time of visit)

Galvin La Chapelle
35 Spital Square,
London,
E1 6DY,
UK

https://www.galvinrestaurants.com

Frenchie Covent Garden

Frenchie opened its first London branch in the heart of Covent Garden at the beginning of 2016. Ever since this Paris originated restaurant opened its doors in London, it has not been easy to book a table due to its popularity. After my first visit for lunch I can see why, because even I am hoping to return, but I just need to find an opportunity.

Frenchie

Frenchie’s menu is simple whereby the lunch menu is offered in either a 2 course for £22, or 3 course for £28.

I started with the Lincolnshire smoked eel served with roasted cabbage, buckwheat and kale. The combinations of all the ingredients went well, with the green balancing well with the lovely smokey flavour of the eel. My only criticism is there was not enough eel compared to the greens.

Frenchie

I thought my smokey eel was the best starter compare to the Spring Leek with pickled shittake and rancio vinaigrette that a friend ordered. But it was intriguing to see how you can turn a spring leek to an interesting dish.

Frenchie

For main course I had the lamb ragu papdelle with kalamata olives and espelette. Seeing pasta your probably wouldn’t link it to be a French dish. Nevertheless the dish was nicely cooked with the papdelle cooked to al dente.

Frenchie

A main dish that I would had liked to had as my own was the Linconshire chicken with Jerusalem artichoke and meyer lemon. This dish really took a love with my tastebuds. The chicken was really moist and the flavour of this dish reminded me of trips in France.

Frenchie

Overall I was really impressed with food and the service at Frenchie. Each dish was beautifully presented. I thought the portion size for two courses was just about right for lunch. Although I could had a dessert if I had more time. This will just mean I will now have more of an excuse to return.

(Not Sponsored. Menu and prices correct at the time of dining)

Frenchie Covent Garden
16 Henrietta Street
Covent Garden
WC2E 8QH
London

http://www.frenchiecoventgarden.com

The Nineth

In 2015, my best new opening in London that I have tried has to be The Nineth.   The resturant is brought to us by chef Jun Tanaka who is working at his nineth restaurant to date but this time being his very own restaurant.

The Nineth opened its door last November and during then I took the opportunity at their soft launch to see what Jun brings to Charlotte street and the Fitzrovia area.

The restaurant serves French Mediterranean style food and all for sharing. That is what dining out is all about as food is at it best when it is shared.

The Nineth

We started our evening with sharing a few of the dishes from the snack section of the menu.

Oxtail croquettes

The Nineth

Duck scotch egg

The Nineth

Barbajuans

The Nineth

It was followed by a selection of Hot Starters with my favourite being the Rabbit confit lasagna, mustard bechamel. 

The Nineth

King prawn macaroni, chives and ginger

The Nineth

We also tried the Razor clam ceviche from the hot and curd section of the menu. This dish reminded me of my first dining experience at The Pearl when Jun was still working as a chef there.

The Nineth

It was then on to what you could consider as the mains. We each choice a dish to share from the fish and meat section, along with a few selection of vegetable dishes to accompany them as sides.

I found it wonderful to see a range of fish dishes on the menu, especially serving them as a whole fish which make them suitable as a sharing dish. It feels like home and the word family would come to mind.

We choice two fish dishes and each one was beautifully cooked. I am sure my mum would had approved, as the fish was well clean.

Whole roast sea bream, lemon and miso, smoked aubergine.

The Nineth

Roast plaice, chicken wings, shallots and beurre noisette.

The Nineth

Whole roast quail, smoked bacon, foie gras, lardo and grapes was full of flavour and cooked just right. The grapes made a good combination with the dish and it surprisinly worked. It has inspired me on what you can do with grapes. It’s more then a fruit!

The Nineth

Smoked duck breast with caramelised chicory and walnuts

The Nineth

To go with our fish and meat we tried a selection of vegetable dishes.

The Pommes cocotte, rosemary and confit garlic was a taste of Winter, actually more like taste of Christmas. The roasemary brought fragrant to the dish and the garlic was perfectly roasted until soft.

The Nineth

Honey roast winter vegetables, Bleu D’Auvergne

The Nineth

Green lentils, chorizo and red pepper salsa

The Nineth

Fricassee of Jerusalem artichokes

The Nineth

We completed our meal with dessert with my favourite being the Pain Perdu served with honeycomb and vanilla ice cream. The Nineth French toast had a crispy outside with a eggy custard on the inside.

The Nineth

Tarte Tatin served with rosemary ice cream was a sticky tart, which I felt was on the bitter side. The most interesting part of the dish was the rosemary ice cream. You have a very high chance of knowing it is rosemary as the flavour was very strong.

The Nineth

My overall experience that evening did not felt like a new opening. The food was beautifully cooked and the front of house all seem very informative with the menu as well as providing us with excellent service.

Dining at The Nineth was like fine dining experience but on a more casual and cosy. It will be a restaurant I am looking forward in returning.

The Nineth
22 Charlotte Street,
London,
W1T 2NB,
UK

http://theninthlondon.com

Balthazar London

Balthazar has been a restaurant that I have wanted to visit since it opened its doors. But I have either never had the opportunity or when I did, then there are not booking tables left. The closest to getting to Balthazar would be their bakery that is next door. But some time it is when you least expect it that the unexpected happens.

I actually did not expect to find my brother still waiting for a table at Balthazar after I finish work around 8 O’Clock. Don’t freak out! We could not get a table booking and was advice that we could try to go for a walk-in table. This was the reason why we were waiting around for 2 hours. I was planning on to make my way home, thinking brother and friends had finished dinner. But instead I got to catch dinner at Balthazar, that was unexpected!

Balthazar London

We started of our meal with sharing two starters between us.

The Octopus, tomato & Basil Salad (£9).
Balthazar London

My preference would be the Escargots with garlic butter (£10.50). It probably does not compare with the one at Galvin Bistrot de Luxe which has a much stronger garlic flavour which made it great for bread dipping. But the one at Balthazar is still better than other places in London.
Balthazar London

The starters was shortly followed by our mains and on the table there was the Balthazar Steak Frites – entrecôte steak with maître d’ butter (£23)
Balthazar London

Grilled fillet of salmon served over a warm spinach, walnut and lentil salad (£18)
Balthazar London

Artichoke A La Barigoule with herb gnocchi (£16)
Balthazar London

Balthazar serves two different version on the menu which includes the Duck shepherd’s pie (£19). This was a very rich pie and I prefer the Fish Pie (£17) which is served with buttered leeks. If you are having dinner at Balathazar then I would recommend their fish pie. This was the best version I have tasted so far in London. It was indulgent and a comforting dish.

Balthazar London

As well as the fish pie being my recommendation, the other one you can not leave not having is the souffle. This is one the reason I have been wanting to visit Balthazar and I was not disappointed. Galvin’s brother restaurants (Galvin La Chapelle and Galvin Bistrot de Luxe) serves great souffle and Balthazar now is included as another top place for souffle in London.

The raspberry souffle which cost £10 sounds expensivce but one is enough to share between two people. The staff at the restaurant explained before the souffle arrive, that the best way to eat the souffle is to make a small indention on the top and pour the creme in to the souffle. Then you are ready to indulge.

Balthazar London

Balthazar is an all day dining with menus to cater for breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner. The decoration will give you that French brassiere feeling and reminded me of Brasserie Zédel. It is a nice place to go out with friends or for a date evening. You might even spot celebrities here! But do note that the restaurant can be noisy and it would not be a place to go if you after some thing quiet.

(Prices correct at the time of dining)

Balthazar London
4-6 Russel Street,
London,
WC2B 5HZ

http://balthazarlondon.com/

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Galvin La Chapelle

I still remember my first visit in which I fell in love with Galvin La Bristrot de Luxe. So it was excitement when I had the oppotunity to visit another of Galvin’s restaurant – Galvin La Chapelle.

The restaurant is located just 5 minutes walk from Liverpool Street station. The building was appatently once a chapel hall which is now converted to what it is now, which gives it the high celling and space. The atmosphere is much different then Galvin La Bristot de Luxe.

As it was a warm sunny evening we opted to sit in the outside area at the back of the restaurant. I hope to revisit and sit in the main dining area to get a sense of dining in a chapel hall. But it was still nice to be sitting outside soaking the sun with a cocktail.

Galvin La Chapelle

The menu consisted of a la carte and a pre fixe menu that is available monday-saturday between designated time. The prix fixe menu was a option of 2 course (£24) or 3 course (£29). We all went for the 2 courses and separately ordered a dessert from the a la carte as there are more and better choice.

Starter we had the choice of Pressed ham hock, corn fed chicken & foie gras, red onion marmalade or Chilled tomato consommé, mozzarella & basil. The latter is like a broth and is a nice light start to a meal. I went for the first option which was a good combination of ingredients.

Galvin La Chapelle

Mains was a choice of either Slow cooked cod, pearl barley risotto, cucumber & grapefruit or Confit beef cheek, sugar snap peas, bok choi & spiced broth. I opted for the cod as fish in my view is the test of a kitchen skill A perfect cooked fish is not always easy to get right. The cod was cooked just right, still leaving the fish with a moist and silky texture.

Galvin La Chapelle

Dessert was an easy choice for me as it had to be soufflé. It was gorgeous when I had it at Galvin la Bristrot de Luxe. La chapelle was serving banana soufflé (£10.50) with a scoop of sorbet. It was fluffy and light, but the combination of the sorbet did not quite work well for my taste buds.

Galvin La Chapelle

For those who love their chocolate then I recommend Valrhona chocolate ganache, honeycomb & coconut sorbet (£11.50)

Galvin La Chapelle

If you likea classic French dessert then try Apple tarte Tatin served with crème fraîche (£9.00)

Galvin La Chapelle

We finished our meal with complimentary truffles and macaroon. It was really a great way to end a nice evening.

Galvin La Chapelle

Service was good and we got complimentary sorbet due to having to wait a bit longer then usual for our dessert. Yes blame me for ordering soufflé which takes 15 minutes. But it is a dessert worth waiting.

Galvin La Chapelle

On our way out we got a complimentary box of truffles. I remember having them at their other branch and you will love them if you are a dark chocolate lover.

Galvin La Chapelle

This is a restaurant that is great for a special occasion but of course you do not have to wait until that special occasion to visit Galvin La Chapelle.

Galvin La Chapelle
35 Spital Square,
London,
E1 6DY,
UK

https://www.galvinrestaurants.com

Le Mercury (deuxiéme)

Since I was nearby in Islington on a Sunday evening, we thought it was a good oppotunity to try Le Mercury. We have heard our friends recommend this French restaurant for serving good food at a resonable price. I will definitely agree on this after my first visit.

Le Mercury has two branches on Upper street in Islington, with Le Mercury deuixmie being their new branch and the one that we decided to try. The menu at both branches looks exactly the same and it is only the restaurant deco at deuixmie that looks more polished.

The restaurant is small but cosy, with an antic interior design. It was buzzing with people for a Sunday evening. But we were able to get a table for two.

20130407_192747

The menu is simple, with starters and mains covered on one side of A4. There is a separate sheet of daily chef special dishes which included a Sunday roast that day.

All starters are set at one standard price, £3.95 and all mains are set at £8.95. Only dishes from the chef special is where prices vary, but they are still resonable priced.

There was temptation for me to order the Ravioli de la Mer, which consisted of a crayfish and lobster ravioli served with spinach and shellfish. It was a lovely combination of ingredients.

Although the ravioli was tempting, I started my meal with the soup of the day which was a creamy broccoli soup. The soup was full of flavour and I love the creamy texture.

French@Islington

I am a fish fan so you will often see me order a fish dish. But it is an ingredient that is difficult to cook perfectly, especially when I like mine cooked just right where the fish is still moist. So it was no surprise that my main was the Filet de Saumon that was served with sautéed Spinach.

The seared fillet of Salmon was a touch over cooked, but it was still better cooked then other London places. It was not too dry and it had this lovely crispy skin on top to give it another depth of texture.

I do recommend the Magret de Canard which is a roast breast of duck sitting on garlic potato mash, savoy cabbage and served with red wine jus.

There are also some sides you can order to go with your main or share on the table. All are at a standard price of (£1.95) with selection of Side Salad, French Fries or Vegetable Selection.

Although, I did not feel the mains we ordered required any side dish we did try the French Fries.

We finished our meal with a dessert and I had temptation to try the poach pear. But decided to go for the dessert of the day, which was the banaoffe pie.

The banaoffe pie was biscuits crumble topped with fresh sliced banana and caramel. It was all covered in a layered of cream and topped with chocolate sauce and a touch of strawberry sauce.

It was nice and beautifully presented but since I recently been looking at how to make it, this dessert is very easy to make and felt that I should had gone for something bit more complicated.

The creme brulee came out as expected with the caramel top. For me I found the the creme brulee bit like a jelly texture sit instead of being cremey.

I have seen review fron other bloggers on how bad the service but I actually have the opposite view. The evening we were there, the service was good although a touch bit too quick to clear our plates. But the smiley waiter apologies when he realised I was still chewing.

Overall, it was a very nice local restaurant where the food has the feeling of home. We were served decent size portion of food for the price we paid. For two including two tea we spent around £40, however I could off had a two courses instead of a three course meal.

Le Mercury (deuxiéme)
154-155 Upper Street
London
N1 1RA

http://www.lemercury.co.uk