Situated a few steps from Kew Gardens tube, the setting here is prettier than you’d think. Station Parade resembles a village square, where the Glasshouse’s neighbours include an indie bookshop, bakery and florist. The restaurant itself is less botanically minded than the name suggests, not so much evocative of one of the royal garden’s great Victorian shrines to horticulture as a typical smartly neutral dining room, bright enough but overwhelmingly beige in decor.
Formal in tone, with pristine staff, what really stands out is chef Daniel Mertl’s sublime Michelin-starred menu. Owned by Nigel Platts-Martin and Bruce Poole – the men behind Chez Bruce and La Trompette – the Glasshouse pulls off neighbourhood fine dining with aplomb and is busy all hours as a result. Rabbit tortellini was densely packed, served with a delicate tarragon consommé and baby artichokes. A generous mackerel tartare was encircled by perfectly crumbed quail’s eggs. Mains of roast bavette with salardaise potatoes, and guinea fowl breast with curried potato gratin and black lentil sauce did not disappoint.
Desserts are equally impressive, with the deep-dish passion fruit tart particularly fine. The three-course set lunch is good value for this class of cuisine. Worth seeking out.