Friday, April 1, 2011

The Glass Kitchen at Harvey Nichols

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Harvey Nichols has a new pop up restaurant that took over its Taste Lab space for a few weeks. Called The Glass Kitchen, its reins are run by Iron Chef UK winner, Franck Pontais.

I was literally stunned and mesmerised after initially reading about it here. I love the whole concept of Verrines which is a more sophisticated version of those aluminium take away boxes of my childhood. Fresh back from travelling away, I made my way to the 5th floor of Harvey Nicks.

As it was past lunch, I managed to skip the busy lunch time crowd and found myself and my friend available seats. The Taste Lab is really quite a small area with only around 10 seats. After browsing the menu, we placed our orders and watched Franck at work.

We were lucky to have the two seats which allowed you to catch all the action and it was a mesmerising and tranquil display of food creation and arrangement.

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Franck started on my Carpaccio of smoked fillet of beef with parmesan parfait, slow cooked tomatoes matched with a fresh fennel salad drizzled with a roasted seed dressing and topped with a ‘Mille Feuille’ biscuit £11.95.

Tiny containers were brought out, each holding single ingredients that were to be combined together. A steel bowl makes an appearance shortly after which is used by Franck to make the dressing. Such loving detail and such care, it reminds me of Jap chefs and the way they work. I was mesmerised. 

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Franck worked on the next mains after which was the 'Smoked mackerel & hot smoked salmon terrine with herby crushed potatoes, cucumber and poached radish salad with fine rustic bread wafer £11.95

Have I mentioned how it looks stunning? Onto the food itself, the general philosophy is of clean and mild in flavour. The Beef Carpaccio paired really well with the parmesan parfait with the additional slices of parmesan heightening the cheese flavour. Fennel was the dominating taste in the fennel salad I only had a bite of the smoke mackerel mains and it was in the same stream as the general philosophy.

Next came desserts.

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Blackcurrant mousse topped with a sharp & creamy lemon posset, semi set mango jam with Lavender & lemon shortbread £6.50

Desserts were the stronger winners compared to the mains.
I had the Blackcurrant mousse which was really lovely. The Lemon posset was sharp and tangy and did not overpower the blackcurrant mousse. I think Franck did a great job in terms of the proportion. Overall, it is the sharp lemon taste you get while indulging in the creaminess of the blackcurrant mousse. The mango jam added an extra dimension in terms of texture and I like that.

Did not realise that Franck was looking at my expression when I was eating this and he remarked “you’re not sure about this?” Dear me no, I was loving it!

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Fresh pomegranate set in a rose water jelly with a layer of white chocolate mousse and cherry confit are served with a demerara sugared tuille biscuit £6.50.
This was light and citrusy and reminded me of spring turning into summer. The Tuille biscuit was dense and was similar to crumbly fudge but bordering towards being a biscuit texture. The Cherry confit was lightened up by the fresh pomegranates which add a fresh burst of water to lighten the sweetness.

The Glass Kitchen will only be there until the 10 April so do get there as soon as you can.

Glass Kitchen at Harvey Nichols, 109 - 125 Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7RJ

Will I recommend:  Yes
Will I come back:   Yes, very happily so for the desserts.
Have I had better:  This is a mixed one. It's not the best food out there but the whole concept is unique and the food just looks stunning with interesting elements.


  1. I was there at the beginning of this week and totally agree with your assessment! Dessert was definitely a winner for me and I was underwhelmed by the fennel salad, but a simple salad of spring onion with a ginger/lemon dressing that accompanied his chicken dish was the most sensational dish of all for me!

  2. Hi Emma, oh..wished I tried the chicken dish. It sounds like that is the winner!



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