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|Address:||St Botolphs Hall, 35 Spital Square, London E1 6DY|
|Tel:||020 3641 8317|
|Price: £63.00||Wine: £19.00||Champagne: £53.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 12N-2.30 (Fri -3pm) 6-10.30pm (Sun -9.30pm)|
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Having recently been disappointed with Galvin’s Bistro De Luxe, it was with a certain degree of trepidation that I booked their recently Michelin anointed City joint, La Chapelle. I should not have worried: all in all, a far more satisfactory experience, and good to see that the brothers are at the top of their game here.
The Chapel was actually most recently a gym for the local girls school, and has the light, high ceilinged air of a gym, but fortunately without the sweaty air of a gym. It also has a hushed feel to it. A nod perhaps to the place, perhaps to the food.
The name La Chapelle doesn’t, as I’d assumed, come from the place being an old Chapel, but from the association with the wine of that name from the Rhone Valley. And there is a good selection of Jaboulet’s finest, from the ’94 (at a relatively sane £190 a bottle) to the mind bogglingly daft ’61 at the best part of £20k. Fortunately the rest of the wine list is more sensibly priced, with many bottles in the twenties and thirties (pounds not thousands thereof), some excellent small producer champagnes and a good selection of both by the glass and carafe.
Food is a good selection of Frenglish, with a lasagne of Dorset crab and broad bean soup sitting next to Mediterranean fish soup and foie gras salad. A fine fish soup too: rich, thick with fish and tangy with saffron and orange, coming with garlicky mayonnaise and croutons. The broad bean soup proved a hit too, slickly smothering the smoked duck.
Mains too were fine, with the red mullet and cod both hitting the spot without being outstandingly memorable.
In fact, whilst the food is good, this isn’t what most people will come here for. It is a serious place to conduct serious business: RBS and the EBRD are next door, and the £1,000 an hour lawyers from Allen & Overy reside on the doorstep. This is a canteen for the suited expense account brigade. To ensure that they keep coming back, the food is good without being challenging, the service is smooth without being obtrusive and the atmosphere is suitable reverent. A chapel is an excellent choice to house this combination.