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Review: Jazz and Dinner at Green Park Brasserie
Food lover, and writer, Rebecca Milford went along to experience the delicious food and live jazz at Green Park Brasserie. This is how she got on...
It's actually a miracle I'm writing this, as I'm as stuffed as a taxidermist's teddy bear. This is because I've just been dining like a queen at Green Park Brasserie.
I took my granny because I had a sudden crippling fear that I was only a good granddaughter on Christmas and Birthdays, and thought she deserved a night out, but to be honest I would be equally happy coming here on a romantic date, or with a gaggle of my girlfriends. There's an airy, modern and refined feel to the whole place - I feel I could be in a lovely dining room in Mayfair, although without the pompous grandeur since a definite sense of relaxed hospitably pervades.
The evening starts with a drinks menu, and Granny goes for a glass of Merlot, having been brought up in a generation where a mojito doesn't bring the same squirm of excitement that it does these days. However, asking me to ignore a cocktail list is like asking a compass to ignore magnetic North. I hone in on a classic martini, and my request is met to perfection - it's chilled, crisp, and as clean as a hotel bathrobe.
On to the menu, and GPB have decided to do what I call, fondly, Tarted Up Classics. We have Chicken & Duck Terrine with Pomegranate Salad; Squash, Chilli and Pistachio Falafel; Monkfish Goujons... the kind of list that makes you wince with indecision because it all looks so darn tasty.
In the end we decide to share a starter of Salt & Pepper Squid with Asian Coleslaw. We also had some bread and olives, and I know harping on about bread is like waxing lyrical about a trailer when someone asks what the film was like, but it was really good bread. The squid was also delicious. I ordered it on the recommendation of the waitress, although I sometimes have a fear of calamari in case I end up with greasy, limp rings. These however were crisp and fresh, complimented perfectly by a zingy salad and a rich, deep plum sauce.
Now, rule number one of reviewing is don't order the same dish, but unfortunately we were both seduced by the Sea Bream. I can say that a woman to my right seemed like she was heartily enjoying her Maple Smoked Pork Belly, and the Harissa Chicken that passed me by looked awesome, but I was just keen for the bream. Served with Fennel, Leek & Potato Pressed Terrine and a Saffron Sauce, it was seriously worth it. If I were to describe the fish I would say it delivered a meaty punch of flesh with each mouthful. The sauce was creamy yet not sickly, the terrine was super, and the side of green beans were full of crunch. It wasn't entirely conducive for bonding time, since we were so absorbed in enjoying the flavours that conversation was momentarily stalled.
During our meal I was vaguely aware of some extremely good music which, when I looked up from my scoffing, transpired to be the jazz singer. The band was truly super - not overwhelming the room, but providing the perfect backdrop to our night. I didn't even resent having to put down my cutlery to applaud him.
After this we did the standard thing of 'okay, we'll just look at the dessert menu...', and so naturally ended up with a sweet each. Granny went for a creme brulee, and I just managed to snaffle enough of a mouthful to confirm it ticked all the boxes. I went for the chocolate torte - that melded granache, mousse, and salted caramel sauce. This is one reason I am so insanely full - because I should have stopped far before I did.
Overall, the night was a resounding success. I have often walked past Green Park Brasserie and noted it as a place I really should visit. But after an evening of quality food, absolutely top-notch service, and fabulous atmosphere, it's been upgraded to somewhere I will definitely be dining again.