The Head Chef, Joo Won, at the Michelin starred Galvin at Windows has recently introduced a new brunch menu. We ventured to the 28th floor of the Hilton Park Lane to check out the offering (and the amazing view). From the welcoming staff to the organic wine pairing, the experience was luxurious and friendly.
We were welcomed with an aperitif in the bar (which is a seperate space to the restaurant) and chose to have a classic negroni (a house special) and a Tiny Charlotte (Beefeater, Lilly Blanc, Strawberry syrup, lemon syrup and Champagne). All of the cocktails on the extensive list looked well thought out and many imaginative in their creation.
The brunch menu mixes the classics that one would expect with some excellent additions, often inspired by the chef’s Korean background. The staff were very helpful in crafting an excellent tasting menu, which was paired with extremely delicious smoothies and one glass of organic wine each.
We had a trio of starters which were each excellently crafted to allow individual flavours to radiate. My personal favourite was the Raw Scallop, Plum Soy and Chili Dressing which melted in the mouth, had good texture due to the mixture of fish and cucumber, and was never overpowered by the soy sauce. The Kombu Cured Salmon, Nori Mayonnaise and Pickled ginger had a wonderful consistency and the Cervelle de Canut and Avocado Sourdough bread provided a nice twist on a classical brunch item. Needless to say warm fresh bread was also served.
This was followed by an Eggs Deluxe, comprising of the typical muffin, mushrooms and poached egg accompanied by a Tempura Lobster tail. This was a wonderful interval between the starters and main which we ordered in a half portion to complement the previous trio of dishes.
For the main courses we let the team surprise us. We were not let down. Chef Won’s signature Fried Korean Chicken Thigh was succulent and married to a delicious tomato and chili sauce. My dining companion feasted on the Pan Fried Hake with Sauteed Cabbage. Both were the perfect size and left a smile on each of our faces. The Sommelier, Rudina, paired these dishes with two organic white wines which were delightful: a Gewurztraminer from Alsace and a Spanish Rioja.
We finished the meal with a Chocolate Fondant, a Tarte Tatin and some coffees. The bar where we began our brunch was almost full with guests enjoying afternoon tea and early evening cocktails.
So what did we think? Great staff who were friendly, knowledgeable and proud of what the kitchen was producing. Other guests all commented on how good the meal and experience had been. We agree with their sentiment.
Whilst we sometimes hesitate about dining in hotels (and feel that some details of the decor could be changed), the views and menus were outstanding. This is a perfect spot for a special brunch or to bring friends to see a wonderful view and have a delightful meal. Check out the regular special events that are also put on. 9/10
Words by Simon Day