Hangzhou welcomes a new wine bar, Galavin, to the bustling Kerry Center area just across the street from Hard Rock Café. This establishment brings some Shanghai chic to Hangzhou by way of the proprietor, Scott and French consultant, Pierre Weyland, who had both previously held key positions at Enoterra and Dr. Wine in Shanghai.
The large wine selection features French, Spanish and Australian wines and price ranges from around 30RMB for a glass of house wine to more expensive for higher-end wines and champagnes. There will be fun wine education events and we imagine Galavin will be a cool place to socialize, meet new friends and enjoy a glass with some tasty nibbles.
We started with a creamy Mushroom Soup that was top-notch and had us scraping our bowls to get every last drop.
Then came the Chef’s Platter (220RMB), a curated selection of goodies sourced from gourmet delis in Shanghai, such as La Maison Gourmande. We were treated to Spanish Manchego cheese, camembert, blue cheese, parma ham, Capa Negra jamon serrano, bresaola and a sublime duck mousse paté. It was accompanied by a basket of fresh baked bread from Maison Lan bakery.
In the Mozzarella Salad (39RMB) and Blue Cheese Salad (45RMB), the salad leaves were very well-tossed with vinaigrette fully coating every leaf without becoming soggy. With such attention to detail for something as simple as a salad, you start to appreciate the level of quality of the chef, who also worked in Shanghai in French, Spanish and Italian restaurants.
In the Grilled Veg Platter (39RMB), the slices of zucchini and carrots were cooked carefully to be slightly firm, but in no way undercooked. They were topped with some fresh goat cheese for a touch of creamy sourness and pine nuts for a roasted, nutty accent.
The Chicken Pesto Penne (49RMB) was a gorgeous study in green with vibrant emerald tones that herald the arrival of spring, using green peas, asparagus, broccoli and a vivid green pesto. The chicken tasted like it had been smoked and it was extra flavourful.
For the Seafood Risotto (69RMB), the rice was patiently cooked in a creamy tomato and seafood sauce with bits of prawns, squid and mussels.
Grilled sirloin was perfectly cooked and well-rested, giving enough time for the juices to be reabsorbed through the steak, keeping the juices in the meat and not spilling out onto the plate.
With a desirable location, stellar food and a well-curated wine list, Galavin should have a bright future in Hangzhou.