Ganymede sprung onto the blossoming Belgravia hotspot that is Ebury Street at the end of 2021. It is the second venue from Lunar Pub Company, following the roaring success of sister establishment The Hunter’s Moon in South Kensington. The Handbook contributor Katie Renouf shares her experience.
Every time I find myself in Ebury Street, I wonder why I don’t go there more often. It’s located right outside Victoria Station – therefore easy to reach from most parts of London – offering a perfect blend of coffee and cake shops, pubs, and fine dining. It’s especially joyous at this time of year, with fairy lights and candles shimmering merrily through the grand windows.
And, even from fleeting first impressions, it would appear that Ganymede is a very welcome addition to the community. Nestled on the corner of Elizabeth Street, a regal yet comforting blue and gold exterior entices us in from the cold.
Emerging from the cold through a heavy drape, you discover a stunning ink and copper-hued bar with some casual counter seating. This leads to the dining room, furnished in stylish elements of dark wood and that same inky blue. Towards the rear is further seating and some grand, forest-coloured leather banquettes which could easily accommodate 6-8 people. This space would be the perfect setting for a function and the venue is equally well-suited to business or private dining events.
The friendly staff show us to our table and take us through today’s menu, which is a combination of classic staples and ever-changing daily specials. As my eyes roam over the page I find myself in a familiar predicament. Beef cheek lasagne? Yes. Wild boar ragu? Yes. Hake with ndjuja risotto? YES.
Whilst making my decision, I decided to sample the cocktail special; the “sherry shakewell”. Not only do I like the clever name a lot, but it turns out to be exceptionally delicious; cherry and almond flavours with a festively appropriate dash of sherry in the background.
For my first course, I opt for the grilled mackerel with miso and oyster dressing, accompanied by a king prawn kataifi. I’m not sure what a kataifi is and it turns out to be a gorgeous spring roll-esque creation made from the finest of crisp pastry strands, wrapped around a plump, juicy prawn. The mackerel is supple and lightly torched, its flavours gently lifted by the miso and oyster. A truly exceptional dish.
My friend selects the scallop ceviche with textures of avocado, ginger, and truffled ponzu. This plate is a work of art; the glistening scallop slivers and avocado dots sitting like gems in the beautifully clear, fragrant broth.
We both select pasta dishes for our main courses – my pick being a tagliatelle of chanterelles and truffles with shallot cream, topped with “crispy egg”. This is a gloriously perfect poached egg encased in crisp breadcrumbs, which I pop my knife into, causing the yolk to tumble out over the glossy pasta. I love EVERYTHING about this dish. The aromatic, earthy mushrooms, the silky shallot cream, the scattering of parmesan across the top…swoon. I eat every last mouthful, only pausing to nibble on the occasional triple-cooked chip which I added as a side order at the last minute. I am often dismissive of chips, but these are truly majestic, rough-edged beauties that deliver a crispy exterior and a fluffy centre. They are absolutely not to be missed, especially when rolled around in mushroom cream sauce and egg remnants.
My friend orders the daily special of the boar ragu and from the rich, heady aroma that accompanies it to the table, a great deal of time and care has gone into the gleaming, lustrous base. He says it is one of the best pasta dishes he has ever eaten, further evidenced by the impeccably clean, empty bowl which returns to the kitchen.
We draw our dining to a close with some shared dessert, the first being a classic vanilla crème brulee. Truly one of the stalwarts of British gastronomy, this one is an absolute corker; the crack and splinter of charred sugar parting to reveal the smooth, vanilla-perfumed custard. Divine.
Our second dessert is the chocolate and pistachio fondant; again, a very classic dessert that can be difficult to get right. We needn’t have worried – the feather-light chocolate dome exterior breaks open to reveal a velvety, molten chocolate centre. Topped with a smear of pistachio ice cream, it’s hard to find a dessert that better hits the spot.
I will absolutely not hesitate to return to Ganymede; the sensational standard of food, the beautiful setting, and brilliant staff make it top of the list for my next Ebury Street outing.