Restaurant Review: Galvin HOP, Spitalfields

Fashion Features & Entertainment Assistant indulges at Galvin HOP...

Spitalfields is bursting with restaurants. From Blixen to Ottolenghi and just about everything inbetween, you’re never short for something to eat when you’re there. Infact, it’s almost impossible not to be lured into a restaurant after browsing the market.

We arrived on a Friday evening; hungry post-work and keen to indulge in a beer (or two…or six as the case may be). Hidden on a side street off the busy-at-all-hours main road, Galvin HOP is unassuming from the outside and perhaps a little bit overshadowed by it’s older brother, the Michelin-starred Galvin La Chapelle which sits next door.

Step inside and you’ll be welcomed by a busy and bustling bar with a set of copper barrels resting above and a grab and go hot dog stand to your right (yes, really). As the name suggests, Galvin HOP is – at heart – a pub with a fine dining edge where you can sip on fresh unpasteurized Pilsner Urquell which is brought in weekly from the Czech Republic.

Once inside, we were quickly shown to our table which was low lit and hidden, great for those who want to keep their hot date on the DL. I’d suggest starting your meal with one of the above beers and making your way throughout the drinks menu throughout! The menu is slightly confusingly laid out at Galvin HOP though, so I’d suggest laying off downing drinks til after ordering. After much umming and ahhing, we opted for the Steak tartare and smoked salmon to start. Both dishes are without a doubt classics but were done well, with the smoked salmon soft and tender while the steak tartare was moreish and erring on the right side of spice.

For the mains, my boyfriend opted for the reasonably priced 8oz Herdwick PDO Barnsley chop with the full selection of sauces and I went for the lighter Brixham market day boat fish which was a healthy portion of Skate adorned with capers. We then shared a side of Maille mustard mash.

The steak was ordered rare and came that way (which is a delightful surprise in most cases); it was perfectly accompanied by the sauces, with the maille black truffle mustard trumping all the others (natch). The Skate was plentiful and arrived with a salad on the side. The mustard mash was creamy and was the kind that makes me lament all of the times that I’d made a woefully lumpy version at home.

By this time, I’m not going to lie to you, we had been encouraged to indulge in all of the beers on offer and were slightly sozzled and were so aware of the liquid sloshing around in our bellies that we could no longer go on. While we stared lovingly at the dessert menu, it was fruitless as we just could not force ourselves to order. If I had – and I wish I had now as I look at the menu again – it would have been the Treacle tart, the Yorkshire rhubarb doughnut, the choux bun, the cheeses, the lemon posset…and yes, let’s even throw in the date pudding.

All in all, our time at Galvin HOP was great; the staff were friendly, welcoming and informative, the food was as delicious as would be expected from the Galvin name but overall homely and the atmosphere was that of a place where people who have had a hard week go to enjoy themselves.

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