Ganymède review: an extraordinary British gastropub
Ganymede is the new premises on Ebury Street in Belgravia. Nestled among the white stucco houses, it’s a modern take on the British gourmet pub and should become a neighborhood staple. Naming it after the largest moon in the solar system – the only one known to have a substantial magnetosphere – maybe set it up for unrealistic expectations, but I was ready to be dazzled.
It was a Tuesday when I visited, but it had a warm and lively atmosphere and the restaurant was full. We were led through the stylish bar to the intimate dining room; the wood panels and dim lighting reminded me of Noble Rot on Lamb’s Conduit Street.
The two tables closest to us were from the area, boasting loudly about how delighted they were that Ganymede had landed on their doorstep. It’s run by the team behind Kensington favorite, The Hunter’s Moon, and has a similar elevated dining air.
The blonde who accompanied me – hereafter known as Lapsed Vegetarian – agreed that it was a cocktail-type night. The menu is a fine example of rich, seasonal cuisine that changes monthly, weekly and sometimes daily to reflect available produce, and they are sourced primarily from the UK to support UK farms.
I started with the guinea fowl and truffle lasagna, accompanied by a mash of button mushrooms and Lyon onions. The Lapsed Vegetarian has decided to go all out with the roasted duck breast and foie gras (do different rules apply in space?). A stratospheric leap from the Quorn spag bowl she’s used to, the indulgent – and, for many, controversial – dish was the culinary equivalent of Theresa May’s cornfield manna.
Ganymede gets his foie gras from a specialist French supplier in the boutique called Gourmet, which I am told only sources the most ethical Category A products from the southern and western regions of France. The meat was accompanied by a rich sauce, complemented by a tangy blackberry juice and pink peppercorns. My stone sea bass was well done and came with that favorite fish side: polenta with cream. The crisp cavolo nero offered a nice salty clarity that melted into the heart of leek sofrito with saffron.
Do we have room for the pudding? Not an inch. But the selection was too good to pass on. The Lapsed Veggie opted for a creamy chocolate tart with vanilla ice cream and pistachios sprinkled with cocoa nibs. I sampled more than my fair share; the light creamy mousse, enclosed in a crispy basket with those cocoa nut explosions, was divinely greedy.
I had a fig and hazelnut tart with a perfect praline. It was transcendent. Whole hazelnuts coated in cookie crumbs added crunch to the warm honey fruit, which I’m always delighted to see on a menu. I might be biased (I’m obsessed with figs) and was almost certainly drunk by this point, but this was one of the best desserts I’ve ever had.
Looking up from our serious conversation and heavenly puddings, we realized we were the last remaining customers in the joint. Rather than dropping heavy hints to skip it, our kind waitress suggested we swap our espresso for an espresso martini. When in Ganymede …
I don’t know if it was the six cocktails or the meat meal, but I woke up the next morning with a nauseous guilt. Rather, we got carried away in more ways than one. But isn’t that the sign of a great restaurant?
Ganymede, 139 Ebury St, London SW1W 9QU; ganymedelondon.co.uk