Over the last few months, I have had to re-think my finances alot! Thanks to being a blogger I constantly want to eat out and show you all the culinary wonders that this beautiful city has to offer – so much to eat so little time to do it in. Some are complimentary but some really do put a dent in the pocket. Sometimes I wish you could pay less for amazing foods but that only happens in dreams.. Right? Wrong!!
And then just as is if I had rubbed a magic lamp and a blue genie came out and granted my wish, I came across the Pay What You Like menu at Galvin at Windows! Yes, its a real thing and I needed to go check it out! I have always wanted to go to Galvin, a Michelin starred restaurant, after I had been there for drinks last year. I finally had a chance to experience something so unique.
There must be some small print, I thought! The Pay What You Like concept is brilliant – there is a set 5-course menu and it does what it says on the tin – eat 5 courses and pay what you think the meal and service was worth!
I had never been so excited! I didnt know what to expect! Galvin is not halal, so when we called to book they advised that they would replace the meat with a vegetarian or fish dish.
We got there and were ushered to our table with an absolutely stunning view of London!
Before the food started, we were presented with a few poatcards and told that we could write a postcard to anyone in the world and they would post it for us! Loved the concept! I wrote my 6 month old niece a postcard! Sure she won’t care that I had a breathtaking view but hey!
So we started off with some delicious mocktails
And then the courses came out one after another in all their glory…
Course 1 was a complimentary Goat’s cheese and beetroot salad
This was a simple appetiser but the goat’s cheese was so fresh and the beetroot made for a lovely little appetiser to cleanse the palate.
Course 2 – San Marzano tomato gazpacho, peach compote & basil
One of my favourite courses. I absolutely love a bit of gazpacho and especially added with tomato and cheese, what a brilliant touch. Loved every minute of it. Can I have some more please? (please!)
Course 3 – Was meant to be pork (!) but obviously as that wasn’t going to happen, they replaced it with Sea Bass with crunchy salmon cakes
This! The sea bass was so soft and crunchy at the same time. It was a little smaller than I would have hoped though! The fish cake was beautiful, so crunchy and the meat was so well prepared. The jus that the fish was swimming in was amazing and was a perfect condiment to an already great dish.
Course 4 – Was another replacement, they provided us a bed of pastry with various vegetables
It looks appetising enough, but actually just turned out to be a glorified pizza, but a healthy one at that and that is never a good thing. The puff pastry was topped with courgettes, cucumbers and tomatoes. It seemed as though there wasn’t much to it and felt a bit sold out as this was the alternative to us not eating meat. However, as we left alot of it, our waiter was kind enough to notice and offered us another dish so we duly accepted (obvs!)
This was more like it, I love a bit of Kimchee, I could eat it all day every day! For those of you who don’t know what Kimchee is, it’s Korean cabbage – sounds standard but standard it is not! This was the most beautiful Kimchee I have tasted in a long time, could have licked the plate clean if it was socially accepted! (yep, it was that good!)
Course 6 -Brie de Meaux, walnuts & celery salad
Basically, cheese pickle. Simple. Effective. I love how simple this is and I loved it, goes to show that some things don’t need to be overcomplicated to be Michelin starred!
Course 7 -Warm chocolate fondant, praline, yoghurt & dill sorbet
O. M. G!!! What a superb dessert!! I was sold when I saw that beautiful choclate oozing out of the chcocolate cake (you might have been my drool-worthy video on intagram!). But when I tasted the orange ice cream with it, my mind was absolutely blown… blown!! One of the best desserts I have had in London!! WINNER!
What a way to end a great evening (or so we thought… more on that in a bit). Our waiter, Eros was lovely all the way through. He was just so friendly, accomodating and just a pleasure to be around. I almost wanted to tell him to drag a chair and sit with us for a chit chat! He even followed me on Instagram and Facebook afterwards! 🙂
Now it was crunch time, my friend and I had discussed an approximate amount as we wanted to be on the same page, which was a good idea. When our waiter, Eros (like the god of love as he put it!) asked us what we wanted to pay, we thought the food was not mindblowing, although the dessert and sea bass was. We deicded to go for £30 each, which is a lot lower than I would have anywhere else. I genuinely though that was me being cheap, but Eros later told me that alot of cusotmers come in wanting to pay as less as possible, one customer even thought the meal as complimentary! Oh dear!
Point to note here, we paid £30 each for the set menu but each mocktil was £15 so paid £45 in total each. I thought £15 was a bit much for one mocktail but £45 altogether was not a bad deal at all for the meal, a Michelin starred meal at that.
The sun was setting and we asked Eros, our bff by this point, whether there was anywhere we could go take photos and he told us that he will arrange something. We were introduced to Andrew, the Assistant Manager who escorted us to the kitchen. I got to see the magic happen behind the scenes and here is a sneak peek for you guys…
Andrew led us out of the kitchen, confused at this point we followed him through a door that ed to the most beaust beautiful balcony I have seen for a while!
Disclaimer – no camera in the world will be able to depict how beautiful this scene really was.
Overall, epic night! 5 courses was actually 7 courses and an amazing view thrown in, not forgetting the amazing service we received from Eros and Andrew! I really enjoyed the concept of the pay what you like menu. Although I did really feel that if people were hoping for a cheap win from a top restuarant it really wasn’t cool. The restaurant clearly works really hard to ensure that the service and food is worth it, and put alot of trust in their customers by doing so, so let’s not abuse it!
Food – 6 out of 10
Service – 10 out of 10
Price -8 out of 10
Atmosphere – 8 out of 10
Experience – 10 out of 10
Overall, giving the Pay What You Like menu at Galvin At Windows a total TLH score of 8 out of 10.
Address: Hilton Park Lane, 22 Park Lane, London, W1K 1BE
Halal Status: Not halal, please speak to your waiter for alternatives
Closest Station: Green Park (Jubilee, Victoria or Picaddilly line) or Marble Arch (Central line)
The Pay What You Like menu is available for the whole of August so book yourself in as soon as possible if you want to. Have you already been? Let me know your thoughts!
UPDATE – I have been getting messages saying you can’t find the menu online so please see here:
Lots of love,