Ganymede review: an out of this world British gastropub
It’s easy to get carried away at this new dining joint in Belgravia
Ganymede is the new local on Belgravia’s Ebury Street. Nestled among the white-stucco houses, it’s a modern twist on the British gastropub, and set to be a firm neighbourhood favourite. Naming it after the largest moon in the solar system – the only one known to have a substantial magnetosphere – possibly sets it up for unrealistically high expectations, but I was open to being dazzled.
It was a Tuesday when I visited but there was a warm buzzy atmosphere, and the restaurant was full. We were led through the stylish bar down into the intimate dining room; the wood panels and dim lighting reminded me of Noble Rot on Lamb’s Conduit Street.
The two tables nearest to us were from the area, loudly extolling how pleased they were that Ganymede had landed on their doorsteps. It’s run by the team behind Kensington’s favourite, The Hunter’s Moon, and has a similar air of elevated dining.
The blonde accompanying me – hereafter known as the Lapsed Vegetarian – agreed that it was a cocktail kind of evening, so we started with an espresso martini, and carefully picked off most of the classics on the menu (the old fashioned was particularly good). The menu is a fine example of rich, seasonal cooking that changes monthly, weekly and sometimes daily to reflect what produce is available, and they mostly source from the UK in order to support British farms.
I started with the guinea fowl and truffle lasagne, which came with a button mushroom puree and lyonnaise onions. The Lapsed Vegetarian decided to go full tilt with the roast duck breast and foie gras (do different rules apply in outer space?). A stratospheric leap from the Quorn spag bol she is used to, the indulgent – and, for many, controversial – dish was the culinary equivalent of Theresa May’s cornfield bonanza.
Ganymede gets its foie gras from a specialist boutique French supplier called Gourmet, who, I’m told, only source the most ethically produced Grade A products from the south and west regions of France. The meat was accompanied by a rich gravy, complemented with a sharp blackberry jus and pink peppercorns. My stone bass was cooked well and came with that favourite fish accompaniment: creamed polenta. The crispy cavolo nero offered a lovely salty sharpness that melted into the saffron sofrito leek heart.
Did we have room for pudding? Not an inch. But the selection was too good to pass on. The Lapsed Veggie went for a chocolate cremeux tartlet with vanilla ice cream and pistachios dusted in cocoa nibs. I sampled more than my fair share; the light creamy mousse, encased in a crisp basket with those cocoa nut explosions, was divinely moreish.
I had a fig and hazelnut tartlet with praline parfait. It was transcendental. Whole hazelnuts coated in a biscuity-crumb added a crunch to the honey-warm fruit, which I’m always delighted to see on a menu. I may be biased (I’m a fig obsessive) and was almost certainly drunk by this point, but it was one of the best desserts I’ve ever had.
Looking up from our earnest conversation and heavenly puddings, we realised we were the last customers left in the joint. Rather than dropping heavy hints to hop it, our gracious waitress suggested we upgrade our espresso to an espresso martini. When in Ganymede...
I’m not sure if it was the six cocktails or the meat-heavy meal but I woke up the next morning with a queasy sense of guilt. We got rather 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