Robert Green visits Centurion Club in Hertfordshire to experience the latest restaurant offering from the Galvin brothers
Galvin at Centurion Restaurant Review
Some 30 miles north of central London, in the heart of Hertfordshire, the Centurion Club is taking steps to ensure that you will be going home raving about the grub as well as the golf. Granted, the course is a terrific layout and the club can boast the American tour professional, Paige Spiranac (she of the stunning looks and nearly 800,000 Instagram followers), as an attached professional, but one can’t spend all day looking at YouTube so let’s get back to the point.
The golf course was opened in July 2013. Its refreshingly bright, light restaurant – Galvin at Centurion Club – came into play last month. With the aim of providing high-end cuisine for those who have played or intend to play the course, as well as for non-golfing visitors who simply wish to sample fine-dining in the St Albans area and for whom triple-cut chips are agreeable whereas words like ‘verti-cut’ are meaningless, the enterprise is overseen by Michelin-starred restaurateurs Jeff and Chris Galvin, the former being the chief chef here.
They have several well-established eateries in London and Edinburgh, perhaps notably the Galvin La Chapelle restaurant in Spitalfields and its neighbouring Galvin Hop bar. That is, they are good.
The Centurion golf course is an excellent and demanding test. Only the first of those adjectives remains a factor when we’re discussing its restaurant. One can forget about the Galvin Greens; instead perhaps get stuck into such garden greens as kale, spinach or pea shoots. I started off on the green route myself – a velouté of broad beans and smoked duck with poached egg.
This set me up perfectly for the pig’s-head croquettes for my second course (distinctly preferable to the pig’s ear I frequently make of the golf course), which came with an apple and frisée salad. Mike, meanwhile, had opted for the rib-eye steak with duck-fat chips as his main course, which was evidently all too little for him since he felt inclined to top that off with the strawberry cheesecake and black-pepper meringue. He pronounced it delicious. Certainly he didn’t leave any.
I think the future for the Centurion Club looks rosy (in the case of the liquid accompaniment to my meal, it was decidedly rosé) and in due course, given the pedigree of the men behind its food, one might reasonably expect upgrade options on a sausage sandwich in white-sliced at the halfway house. I mean, fair’s fare.
The author’s blog is at robertgreengolf.com and you can follow him on Twitter @robrtgreen