It has sported two Michelin Stars since 2004, so expectations invariably run high at The Greenhouse. However, the arrival of new executive chef Alex Dilling has taken the set-up to a different level. Dilling started his career in New York working for the master of French gastronomy, Alain Ducasse. He then earned a Michelin Star at Caviar Russe before moving back to London to work at Hélène Darroze at The Connaught - his last post prior to taking control of the kitchen at The Greenhouse in August 2018.
Of course, some things never change: the sense of Zen-like calm as visitors arrive at this Mayfair “oasis” via a beautifully landscaped garden with its stone artworks by British sculptor Emily Young; the spacious and light dining room, and the highly professional attitude of the staff. What felt notably different, though, was the buzz – it was encouraging to see almost every table occupied on a midweek evening.
Dilling’s culinary approach involves sourcing the very best ingredients, combining them with an innovative flourish and presenting them beautifully. It's meticulous and precise cooking that looks as good as it tastes. A super-soft yet deeply flavoursome smoked sturgeon mousse with crab and dill set the tone for the evening, and there were several high points to follow: we were bowled over by a breath-takingly original truffled egg concoction and a plate of Brittany turbot with boudin noir, girolles and young sorrel.
The vegetarian options also impressed, as did the wine pairings, drawn from one of London’s more voluminous lists (clocking in at 3,400+ bottles). On the downside, our A5 Gunma Wagyu beef was rather bland, and impatient diners may be troubled by the relatively long waits between courses. Still, The Greenhouse remains a bastion of serious fine dining – just be prepared to fork out handsomely.