June 27, 2022
The Water House Project – a five-star dining experience
The Water House Projects ‘social dining experience’ has gone from strength to strength, starting out as a pop-up in 2015, and moving to gorgeous new premises, whilst still managing to keep its ethos the same. But with Gabriel Waterhouse, former chef at 1 Michelin starred Galvin La Chapelle you’d expect nothing less.
When entering, you’re met with a warm welcome, and transported to modernist Scandinavia with minimalist interiors and neutral hues as far as the eye can see. That, amongst a sea of diversity from other diners from all walks of life felt refreshingly different from the usual Michelin-esque dining experience. With the aim to bridge the gap between fine dining elegance and relaxed, comfortable and informal atmospheres, it’s certainly a good start.
We started the experience with a welcome drink, a beautiful De Stefani Blanc De Blancs Brut, a premium sparkling from Veneto, Italy that’s run for four generations. As we perched directly opposite the borderless kitchen, giving us front-row seats to the chef’s side of the kitchen, which unless you’re having a “Chefs Table” experience is a rarity. This felt like a part dinner party, part culinary art show, with bustling chefs focussed on final touches for courses alongside staff attentively keeping tabs on which dishes were to go to who next, all with smiles on their faces.
The star of the show here though is undoubtedly the food. The menu follows the season and change entirely every three months, with tantalising 6 or 10-course tasting menus (wine-paired with vegetarian-friendly options) at the same high-quality calibre. There are also non-alcoholic pairings offered including teas, tonics, herbal blends and ferminants carefully paired with each course on the menu, so if you’re dining mid-week and don’t fancy a tipple, this offering works charmingly. Like the menu, the beautiful light-filled space, embellished with a natural installation by Waterhouse’s wife Patricia Wakaimba, also changes seasonally.
Gosh, where to begin with that menu. The hot cross bun and spiced Herdwick lamb set the bar high and felt like a nostalgic ode of my childhood. The freshly baked sourdough was utter perfection personified by its unity with wild garlic butter and preserved lemon butter options. The Pollock, palourde clams, grape, sweet cicely, vermouth & sea herbs were equally divine and the sauces that came with the dishes were truly inspiring, shrouded in depths of flavour.
In my view, The Water House Projevt is one of the most inspiring food experiences you can have in London at the moment. Culinary sustainably-conscious cuisine in a cool laid-back atmosphere plated beautifully, served by a welcoming team.
What more could you want when dining?
Opt for a long-form tasting menu (10 courses, 6 pairings) for £135pp including alcoholic or non-alcoholic pairings served on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings or a short-form tasting menu (6 courses, 4 pairings) for £90pp on Saturday afternoon for lunch service.
W: The Waterhouse Project
Written by Kaya Cheshire for Luxuria Lifestyle London and International