With prime assets such as a leafy garden entrance, a Champagne trolley and a kitchen that rubs shoulders with the two-Michelin-starred elite, it’s no wonder The Greenhouse is still at the pinnacle of London dining after more than four decades squirrelled away in a Mayfair mews. Arnaud Bignon’s cooking is truly contemporary, with terse, minimalist plates built to emphasise intense, precise flavours – as in a super-fresh assemblage of raw Orkney scallops, delicate lemon verbena-infused jelly and green tomato seeds or slices of long-aged Galloway beef with grilled friggitelli peppers, gutsy tomato sauce and tiny shimeji mushrooms. The fascination factor is also evident in a supreme dish of steamed turbot with coffee-wrapped avocado and cockles, while a pre-dessert of frozen rocket and mint mousse served on a giant ice cube underlines The Greenhouse’s pared-back approach. “Impeccable service” matches the kitchen’s culinary innovation, and the world-class wine list astounds with its breadth, depth and (perhaps inevitably) price. Set lunches and a surprise ‘discovery’ tasting menu trump the carte for value, but who cares about the cost when this “food temple” can conjure up truly “special memories”.
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