We were very surprised to be able to book a table for two on the Bank Holiday at this Michelin starred restaurant as a lot of the reviews on Trip Advisor were very good so we just thought we were very lucky.
When arriving it was raining, the walk way into the restaurant as described on their website as “A unique dining experience begins as you walk down a tree-lined pathway to reach The Greenhouse” this we didn’t find to be the case as the walkway is decking and as it was wet was extremely slippy and we had to walk with much care to make sure we got to the door without falling so didn’t get the chance to look at the tree lined pathway as I was too busy watching my feet.
We were actually 15 minutes early but we were not given the choice of having a drink in the bar area first as we were shown straight to our table.
Looking around the restaurant there were many tables that were free which we thought surprising.
The evening started out well as the Sommelier (Marc) was really nice, we had already chosen our champagne from the wine list and this was really wonderful, if you fancy something different and truly wonder try the Vouette et Sorbee rose you will not be disappointed.
The amuse bouche was melon foam with Parma ham something or other, ok but nothing amazing as I am not sure why chefs use foam so much as it is not that nice to eat.
We were handed the menus which looked ok but there was only one starter on there that I would eat, a few more on the mains side but nothing that really jumped out at me. At the bottom of the mains menu it did state that there were vegetarian options so I asked for the vegetarian menu only to be told there were the two option on the starters list.
Starters we both chose Cornish Crab, Mint jelly/Cauliflower/ Granny Smith Apple / Curry, this was crab at the bottom of the bowl covered with a mint jelly then a granny smith apple light mouse on top, it was ok but I did not taste any cauliflower nor any curry, the mint was quite overpowering for the crab and it lacked seasoning, not salt but pepper of something to bring it to life which is probably what the curry would have done if I could have tasted any, the main issue was it was all really one texture sloppy, it needed something crunchy to go with it. Not bad but it seemed some things were missing from this dish.
My husband also wanted to try another starter the Veal sweetbread, Artichoke / Caperberry / Coffee / Parmesan.
This he said was ok but the artichoke sauce was pretty tasteless.
The mains I opted for Yellow Chicken, Conchiglie Pasta / Pea / Praline / Lemon, to be honest when this came out I thought it was a joke as I had one breast of chicken and another random bit of chicken next to it, then around six pieces of shell pasta turned upside down with pea puree inside then about 10 very small mushrooms also turned upside down dotted around on one side of the plate with some blobs of something I have no idea what, the sauce was then poured over the chicken, this was very salty and not very nice. The pasta was not al dente but well under cooked, pasta that gets stuck in your teeth is not very nice. I did not taste any lemon nor any praline and I have no idea where the mushrooms came from.
My husband had the Monkfish Nori / Cockles / Razor clams / Dashi / Gnocchi, this was the worst dish of them all, when it came out looked very nice but looks are very deceiving, the monk fish was raw, the gnocchi slimy and undercooked, no trace of razor clams nor cockles but samphire was added which my husband hates and was not on the description. He called the waiter over and stated he could not eat the fish as it was raw, the waiter took it back to the kitchen and we presume it was the manager came over and stated this was how the chef cooked Monkfish as it was cooked at 51 degrees in a water bath to keep the fish pink. My husband stated the fish was not pink it was raw as you couldn’t part the fish in the middle at all and it was translucent. He stated the chef would cook for longer and my husband waited 15 minutes until another one was cooked. In the meantime I was asked if I would like to carry on enjoying my main or would I like another, I did state I was fine for 2 reasons really 1) I was not enjoying it in the first place but was just very hungry 2) I could not bear the thought of having to eat another one.
When the 2nd plate of monkfish came out yet again it was raw in the middle, my husband yet again asked for it to be sent back but this time the manager basically told my husband “no one else has complained” “this is how we cook it” my husband stated that may be they should put that on the menu of how you cook it as we eat at a lot of fine dining places and have never been given raw Monkfish before. The manager asked if he wanted something else but my husband refused and we then went onto desserts and cheese.
The cheese trolley looked great but the reason we declined the cheese as they only accompaniments with it was honey, pear and ginger chutney (which I am allergic to ginger) and cherry jam, never been given any sort of jam with artisan cheeses before so no thanks. We declined desserts also as they did not sound at all inspiring.
When leaving I was given a box with their complement stating "something for breakfast"? I thought odd so when I opened it there were two biscuits and some caramel sauce in a toothpaste tube, none of it looked appetizing so these were put in the bin.
In all would we go back – No, great sommelier but other than that there are far better restaurants in London than this one, restaurants that do not have a star and the food is far better and a lot cheaper.