Hawthorn, Kew: ‘It aims to fill and soothe’ – restaurant review | Grace Dent on restaurants

This is fine dining, but not of the painful sort when, by course nine, you wonder when real dinner will get going

Hawthorn, we’ll call it Hawthorn,” said the owners of the reincarnation of The Glasshouse in Kew. It’s a beautiful name, redolent of nearby Kew Gardens and natural abundance, although, by sheer chance, it is also the exact same name as the restaurant in The Menu, the recent Ralph Fiennes horror-satire about a murderous chef.

We can, however, move quickly past this, because chef and co-owner Josh Hunter certainly means his guests no harm. No deaths occurred while I was there. It was Kew on a Saturday evening, after all, and the place was filled to bursting with the sort of jocund, elegant sorts who favoured the Glasshouse in the 23 years leading up to its closure last September. The Hungry Horse in Basildon this is not; we’re talking three courses for £65 at dinner – for example, oxtail ravioli with a winter vegetable ragout and bone marrow crumb, followed by Ryeland hogget and forced rhubarb souffle with stem ginger ice-cream. This is fine dining, but not the painfully fancy sort with which, by course nine, you find yourself staring at a bowl of fluid gels on an aerated bisque and wondering when real dinner will get going.

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