To celebrate our arrival to Europe, A and I planned a visit to the Greenhouse to get a taste of what the UK had in terms of fine dining. We were joined by our mascot, Moose.
Location: London, England
Michelin Rating: 2 stars
The ambiance itself felt a little too formal for Amy and I, and given the rest of the crowd we didn’t really fit in. That didn’t stop us from having fun though, and we had a wonderful experience dining with our mascot, Moose. I could definitely appreciate the meticulous care put into every detail, from the lovely garden at the entrance to the carefully designed lighting in the dining room that was dim and intimate. And of course, the food.
Here was our tasting menu for the night:
Ahi tuna with crab
Feta cream with cracker
Fennel avocado macaron
Triple threat :)
Little bites of fun these were :). While all three were delicious, my favorite was the fennel avocado macaron.
Good bread is always appreciated, but good bread with butter is my true weakness. Our waiter offered us the choice of a chorizo roll, a puff pastry with pesto, or a plain baguette. The first 2 choices were delicious on their own, but the 3rd (plain baguette) was my favorite, simply because of the butter options.
Salt flakes, butter with 3 types of seaweed, unsalted butter
If I could eat that seaweed butter every day I would. However, I wouldn’t say no to just plain creamy butter with a sprinkle of salt flakes on top either.
Orkney Scallop – Green zebra tomato / Verbena / Samphire
This was a bit like eating a pleasantly slimy soup (is that even possible?). The scallops were light and sweet, offset by the tartness from the tomato.
Native Lobster – Watermelon / Lime / Peanut
While I liked this dish overall, I can’t say that it was a standout for me. I enjoyed the natural sweetness of the watermelon and lobster, with a touch of salt from the peanut sauce.
Potato and truffle
The texture on this dish was the real standout – the creaminess of the potato, lightened by foam. This was the first time I had ever eaten a substantial amount of truffle, and I quite enjoyed the flavor though I can’t see myself ever craving truffle shavings :P.
Foie Gras – Corn / Satay / Aged Balsamic
Considering the California ban on foie gras, Amy and I were easily the most excited about this dish. The crunchiness of the popcorn was a nice contrast in texture to the foie gras melting in our mouthes. We both still agree that foie gras cooked well is far superior to its pate counterpart.
John Dory – Tandoori / Avocado / Celeriac / Lemon / Crab
While this dish was quite lovely, Amy and I agreed that it only built on top of the heaviness of the previous protein. That being said, the fish was light and flaky, and the sauce was very bright (albeit creamy, which only made our stomachs feel heavier). We decided that we would probably like this dish more had our stomachs been less full and without the foie gras dish right before.
Presa Iberico – Aubergine / Sobrassada / Onion / Smoked pimento
Our last dish before dessert. A bit of a disappointment, though I’m not sure if this was due to the fact that this dish felt very heavy on the palate or if we were on the verge of being stuffed. Of course, this was a problem we had already begun to face in the previous course, so another protein dish wasn’t going to solve anything. Either way, I had a little too much fun poking at the blobs in between bites as we inched towards the finish line.
Watermelon with citrus sorbet
Aside from the fact that these serving dishes were super fun (and also super expensive, according to our waitress), this was a wonderfully refreshing palate cleanser following the previous succession of too many protein dishes.
Raspberry & strawberry coulis with mint and limoncello sorbet
Amy and I weren’t sure how this wasn’t already considered a dessert course. I love berries (and all fruit, for that matter) though, so I wasn’t going to complain. More food, especially when it involves ingredients I love, is always welcome :).
Dessert (The Real Deal)
Manjari chocolate – Caramel / Vanilla
Somehow…my stomach still had room to fit these few bites of chocolatey goodness. It was nice switch after the previous couple of dishes, and ended the menu on a comfortable note.
Passionfruit macaroon, lemon verbena marshmallow, salted caramel cream puff, truffles (passionfruit, mint, salted hazelnut)
A few small bites to end the night :). I skipped out on the marshmallow, which was rather unfortunate considering the flavor.
Overall, a solid dinner to start off our UK trip. I quite enjoyed the amazing service and company, but I am not sure I would come back for the food.