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27a Hay's Mews / U-Bahn: Green Park.

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      07.03.2010 16:42
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      Recommend without hestitation for a special occasion

      I'd always wanted to go to the Greenhouse in Mayfair but needed an excuse to justify spending the amount of money that a meal there was clearly going to cost. Fortunately once a year one has a birthday, so I seized this as an excuse to book a table for myself and my fussier better half.

      Greenhouse is a discreet restaurant situated down a side street that you would be unlikely to stumble across unless you knew it was there. You enter through a small, beautifully maintained garden and enter into a chic, minimalist environment. Our reception was warm and polite, coats were taken and we were ushered to our table. The chairs were comfortable (an often overlooked but really rather important aspect of the dining experience) and having opted for the 5 course set 'taster' menu we settled in to sip reasonably priced white wine.

      Before the first course arrived we were presented with an amuse bouche which in turn presented us with a problem: neither of us had a clue how to eat it. It looked like a red egg yolk in the middle of a small silver dish. Prodding it suggested it had the same consistency as an egg yolk. Looking round the restaurant we noted two other couples examining it in a similarly bemused way. Happily fussy better half is quite gung-ho about unusual food so determined a course of action, which involved picking up the small dish and allowing the content to slide in its entirety into his mouth. His face erupted into a smile and I followed his lead to discover that it was actually a rhubarb and tomato-type creation which exploded into a taste sensation in your mouth.

      Thankfully the subsequent courses required less cognitive expenditure to decide how to eat. I'm afraid the quality/quantity of wine prohibits me from describing exactly what I ate between the initial amuse bouche and the desert, which I recall being an exquisitely tasty dark chocolate and cherry affair. I can however note that each course was an eclectic fusion of both tastes and textures and provided Mr Fussy and myself with lots to debate regarding exactly what each flavour came from.

      By the time we reached coffee I was too full to manage the exquisite petite gateaux provided as accompaniment. To the horror of the far more socially refined Mr Fussy I asked the waiter if I could have them wrapped to take home; to my delight he brought them back in a darling little box, which I then took into work the next day to show (and share, I'm not that mean) what a fabulous evening I'd had.

      The service throughout the evening was absolutely impeccable - the staff managed to balance being attentive without being overbearing or intrusive perfectly. It almost goes without saying that visiting the ladies was virtually a delight with clean, well-planned and elegantly designed toilet facilities.

      Overall, despite obviously being expensive (total bill £170 for two, despite the five courses being part of a 'special offer' deal) even Mr Fussy failed to fine fault. If you have the money, I'd thoroughly recommend this restaurant for a modern, thought provoking meal.

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