An atmospheric new restaurant in Belgravia…
Taking over a spot that used to be the 60-year-old institution, the Ebury Wine Bar, Ganymede is a delightful newcomer that combines a bar and restaurant offering seasonal dishes along with an extensive wine list from across the regions.
It is named after the largest moon of Jupiter, and is the second offering from Oliver Marlowe and Hubert Beatson-Hird, aka the Lunar Pub Company, who recently opened The Hunter’s Moon in South Kensington.
We arrived on a cold November evening, having enjoyed a meander around the surrounding streets, all beautifully lit for the festive season. There are three areas, with the bar leading to the first dining room and then down a few steps to another dining space. It works perfectly. Each room feels private and cosy yet the buzz flows throughout. The décor is beautifully done, with moody blues and deep greens, panelled walls, crystal glasses on the table and plush booths with leather banquettes for bigger groups.
Gorgeous freshly-baked bread was swiftly brought while we looked over the menu. Head chef Daniel Mertl (Chez Bruce, The Glasshouse) focuses on well-sourced seasonal ingredients and predominantly British dishes with a few twists.
It was a tough choice. My kind of menu… the selection of starters included a sashimi of hamachi; guinea fowl and truffle lasagne and a risotto nero with cuttlefish. I chose the latter and it was a deep delicious savoury dish generously topped with tender cuttlefish – a chilli gremolata provided a perfect balance of heat and freshness. My dining companion went for the lasagne and loved the thoughtful way it had been put together with a range of textures that really worked.
For mains, a braised veal cheek was just divine – rich, fall-apart-tender and nicely accompanied with Brussel tops and pied mouton mushrooms – a dream dish for a winter’s evening. A fillet of stonebass was another hit, with curried cauliflower, onion bhaji and a green chilli dressing – delicate and perfectly spiced, with a satisfying crunch of the bhaji.
The atmosphere manages to be both refined, yet utterly relaxed. You could pop in for a midweek dinner or a special birthday – on our visit, there were diners that seemed to be both locals and those heading there for an occasion. One group had even brought along their pooch – it’s dog-friendly, too.
We were so full but I’m glad I didn’t miss out on desserts – the apple and hazelnut tarte fine with praline parfait was spectacular – one of the best sweets I have ever eaten – light, crispy, with a thin layer of apple. My friend loved her rich chocolate crémeux tartlet.
Excellent on-the-ball service added to the experience – totally professional, welcoming and knowledgeable. We were impressed by our wine recommendation – how on earth could you find a wine that could match our eclectic choice of dishes? The South African Reserve Chardonnay (2018) from the Vergelegen estate did the job well. Complex, structured and elegant.
This is a fabulous place – and deserves the sort of longevity enjoyed by the previous occupants of this corner of Belgravia.
139 Ebury Street, Belgravia, London, SW1W 9QU
Marcus Wareing tells us about his life in Wimbledon and his love for cooking at home