When I heard that the famous Galvin brothers were set to open a new restaurant, Galvin Green Man, in my hometown of Chelmsford, I was over the moon. Famous for their Michelin star restaurant, Galvin at Windows, which is located in the heart of London, they are known for producing mouth watering food. Having eaten their twice myself I can vouch for the standard of food on offer.
Set in the heart of the Essex countryside, surrounded by an impressive 1.5 acres of land, Galvin Green Man is situated in one of the oldest pubs in Essex, having originally been built in 1314. When we first arrived I was pleased that the original exposed oak beams remain in place in the dining room, with the added touch of some beautiful french doors opening out onto the gardens. A keen attention to detail was clear here when it came to the finishing touches and I was pleased to hear that all produce is sourced locally where possible.
Image courtesy of James French Photography
I’ll start with the pro’s, or pro in this case, and that was the staff. They were welcoming as soon as we arrived, each one smiling at us as we made our way to our table. We were a party of 10 including 2 small children and nothing seemed too much trouble for them. They are a credit to the restaurant.
Unfortunately that’s where the compliments end.
I forgot to take a photo of my prawn starter (I was too hungry) but you’re not missing much. It consisted of a single lettuce leaf, a table spoon of mushed avocado and some unseasoned, flavourless prawns.
Next up was the main course. As it was a Sunday I naturally opted for the roast dinner. I’d normally go for beef but having seen it when entering the restaurant and deciding it was far too rare for me I opted for the roast pork instead. I’m a lover of roast dinners so couldn’t wait to give this one a try. Unfortunately I was left very disappointed. It consisted of fatty pork, a yorkshire pudding that had seen way too much oven time, some rock hard carrots that gave a new meaning to the word al dente, a soggy cabbage leaf, one stem of broccoli and the WORST roast potatoes I’ve ever had the misfortune of eating. They were far too crispy on the outside but a crumbly mess on the inside with an unpleasant consistency of powder. Now a good jug of gravy can hide a multitude of sins in my opinion. Not in this case though. Instead of a nice rich gravy we were given what I can only describe as brown water with not an ounce of flavour. The only slight saving grace was the side order of cauliflower cheese which was lovely.
Feeling very disappointed by this point there was only one thing that could cheer me up – treacle sponge and custard for dessert. My favourite. When it arrived I was slightly miffed, it resembled something my dinner lady used to present me with at junior school. Alas, it’s all in the taste right? Surely the Galvin brothers would have a top notch recipe for treacle sponge wouldn’t they? As I eagerly tucked in imagine my disappointment when instead of nice sticky treacle my taste-buds were instead tingling with the flavour of lemon. I wasn’t sure if I was going delirious by this point so I asked my Dad who had the same and he agreed, there wasn’t a single taste of treacle. Believing we’d maybe been given the wrong dessert we mentioned this to the waitress who informed us that they use a large amount of lemon in the recipe. WHY? It’s a treacle sponge! If the predominant flavour is lemon then this should be clearly stated on the menu. As I can’t stand anything lemon flavoured I sent this straight back. By this point I was so pee’d off with the whole afternoon that I didn’t bother with a different dessert. I’m sure it would have been mediocre like the rest of the meal.
The meal came to £37 per person, which included 3 courses and two drinks. Not overly priced but definitely not worth the money for a below average meal.
I appreciate that this is not billed as a Michelin star restaurant, instead being more of a gastro pub but in my opinion Galvin Green Man feels like a distant second cousin of the Galvin brothers other restaurants. Unfortunately at the moment it feels like a very watered down restaurant which needs a lot more TLC.