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13 May 2010

Trim reviews Galvin La Chapelle

Trim assistant Leila Sarraf used to be a food writer, and all Trim's editors enjoy their food. We'll be bringing you a series of restaurant reviews from eateries within walking distance of our cutting rooms. Enjoy.

Tucked on the edge of Spital Square, Galvin La Chappelle is the most recent venture from the renowned Galvin brothers (Galvin at windows, Galvin Bistro). Set in a former Victorian school chapel, the restaurant dazzles with a high vaulted ceiling, raw brick work, yards of crisp white linen and shimmering glasses. I must say, a most handsome and suitable choice for Trim’s first supper club ra ra.

Stupidly we all started with the lasagne of Dorset crab served with a veloute of chanterelles, apart from Gus. I say stupidly because the dish was more reminiscent of a reconstituted eggy flight breakfast than the delicate unctuous starter it had promised to be. So in-between four frowns round the table, a smug Gus tucked into his mouth-watering marriage of escabech of yellow fin tuna and aubergine caviar. Damn you Gus.

Mains turned out to be a mix of mmms..ooohs and errs. Top trumps went to Dom’s blushing calves liver served with a sheet of salty caramelized bacon, and perfectly partnered with a sweet onion marmalde. This was the mmm..simple yet utterly pleasing to all your senses.

An assiette of French veal with carrot and cumin puree and a meagerly spiced diable sauce was beautifully presented and certainly tasty but nothing to write home about. The same went for Tom and mines dish of squidgy pink duck breast, red cabbage and blackcurrant sauce. Cooked to perfection, this dish was very gobble worthy but afterwards both of us found ourselves shrugging our shoulders with a murmur of ‘meh’. Tasted pretty on par with your standard gastropub food which is about half the price.

We managed to relinquish our disappointments with a variety of ‘oh my god, that’s amazing’ desserts all washed down with rightfully matched dessert wines. One bright pink strawberry soufflĂ© was pleasingly drowned with a sticky white chocolate sauce. Whilst a dreamy praline parfait was cut through with a flash of lime . A surprisingly delicate and dare I say, refreshing rice pudding sported puddles of sweet alphonso mango. And once again Gus managed to triumph with his choice of chilled chocolate fondant with suitably tooth decaying clumps of honey comb and a banana ice cream.

The food at Galvin La Chappelle has some major hits and misses which come at high prices. Nevertheless it’s a beautiful venue and despite the clientele of suited city folk, I believed it still managed to keep a relatively laid back and buzzing atmosphere with a smooth and friendly service. A special occasion kind of place, somewhere to woo and impress .

Trimmers last words:

Dom “The food was unspectacular and the place lacked atmosphere. I had a nice evening bit that was more to do with my fellow diners than the restaurant”

Tom “Loved the corner table, loved the company, lots of laughs. But overall atmosphere was a bit too city, amazing space but felt like it wasn't exploited well enough. ”

Galvin La Chappele won Tatler's restaurant of the year award 2010.


St Boltoph's Hall, Spital Square, E1 6DY

Transport Liverpool Street tube/rail

020 7299 0400