14 Station Parade,
Kew, TW9 3PZ
Tel: 020 8940 6777
Food type: Modern British/ French
Nearest tube: Kew Gardens
Website: The Glasshouse
I am pretty glad to have taken some annual leave this week what with the excellent weather – you don’t say that too often when you live in England. My plan for the day was to have a quick lunch and then head off to my local spa to enjoy some of the sunshine. I was not very keen on travelling down to London by train with the heat, so a restaurant within a reasonable driving distance and ample car parking space was essential. Unfortunately Hedone is only open for lunch from Thursday to Saturday so it was either La Trompette or the Glasshouse. I haven’t been to Glasshouse in quite some time so I thought I’d try my luck as a walk in customer.
The restaurant has pretty much kept the pricing pretty steady since I last visited some years back. 3 course lunch is £29.50 and dinner (pretty much the same menu as lunch) is £47.50. There are a few dishes with supplements but on the whole the menu sticks to the pricing formula. I absolutely hate restaurants with a fixed price menu only to have supplements for half the items on the menu (there is one specific restaurant I am thinking of here!). They have gone through a few head chefs since my last visit with the current head chef now Berwyn Davies.
To start, a dish of lobster with tomatoes and lardo di colonnata was fine. The lobster was cooked properly and avoided any hint of chewiness and the tomatoes were gently seasoned to bring out their natural flavour. I was not keen on the dressing for this dish which was too sweet for my liking – perhaps from the honey used – but this was more of a personal preference rather than any error from the kitchen.
My main course of sea trout with clams and cauliflower was very poor from a technical point of view. The trout was severely overcooked to the point that the fish was dry and stringy. I generally prefer my trout and salmon slightly under but I don’t have a problem if a chef decides to cook it through as long as the fish is kept moist and juicy. Unfortunately the poor fish had any semblance of moisture cooked out of it. The other problem was the clams were not prepped properly and still contained some sand in them. The actual combination of flavours on this dish were sensible but it is very hard to overlook the technical slip(s) here.
To finish, a dark chocolate mousse with caramel ice cream and bergamot was fine with good rich chocolate flavour balanced by the acidity from the bergamot. Unfortunately the ice cream itself was icy which did not make for good eating.
This was a poor meal with several execution/ technical errors which should not occur at a one star level. In a way, some of these mistakes are reminiscent of the technical slips I encountered at Medlar a few months before they lost their star. I hope this was a one-off blip which can be put down to a bad day in the kitchen because The Glasshouse is a lovely neighbourhood restaurant with an appealing menu and a very fair wine list.
As an aside, I had some wine by the glass served via Coravin. These are generally the most expensive ones on the list. At no point did they bring the bottle of wine to confirm it was indeed what I ordered which I found rather odd. Perhaps it is just the style of service here but one I am not overly keen on.