Few restaurants offer such captivating views of London, but the panorama from the 28th floor of the Park Lane Hilton was, sadly, the best thing about our most recent visit here. Start, if you like, in the adjoining bar, which attracts a raucous crowd unfazed that bottles of Budweiser come with a lofty price tag of £7.50. A well-mannered and plentiful service team runs the swanky dining room.
Menus range from a £25 set lunch to a £95 dégustation. We settled for the prestige menu (£68) and found blips throughout the meal, starting with humdrum parmesan gougères with taramasalata. Much better was a pleasingly balanced starter of lightly curried Scottish scallops with cauliflower purée, mango chutney and roast peanuts, though the scallops were under-seared. Tender loin of Herdwick mutton was complemented by the warming flavours of onion (in various guises), pearl barley and ruby chard. The dish came with a separate helping of shepherd’s pie that, despite being over-salted, was deemed a hit. Buttermilk panna cotta with marinated pineapple was let down by a watery lychee granita, but lime and raspberry marshmallows ensured a joyful end.
The enterprising wine list offers 40 choices by the glass. We hope Galvin at Windows returns to its previous lofty standards soon – a new era is being ushered in following the departure of head chef Andre Garrett in September 2013.