"An authentic spoonful of Gallic flavour"Review Rating: Reviewed by Laurel
Brasserie Blanc might be an 18-strong chain, but it still manages to add an authentic spoonful of Gallic flavour to your experience without feeling stuffy.
Founded by iconic French chef Raymond Blanc, there are five brasseries in London, each with its own personality and quirks and all proud to work with some of the very best suppliers in the UK to ensure seasonality and sustainability in its menu.
The South Bank space is a stone’s throw from the Southbank Centre, minutes from Waterloo but far enough apart from the main strip of busy restaurants to not be rammed to the hilt when we visited on a Wednesday night.
The classic French menu features dishes you’d expect like moules mariniéres and an irresistible cheese soufflé, but with the additions of discoveries from Raymond’s travels around the globe, from Moroccan mezze to Indian curries.
I started with a pot of juicy, sweet potted Cornish crab and avocado with prawn butter and sour-dough toast, the taste of the seaside and the perfect summer starter, though having said that the flavour my guest’s moules mariniere instantly transported us to a French harbour.
The mains are where the menu becomes slightly more international; think malabar fish curry with toasted coconut, lamb tagging and a spicy gunpowder chicken with green papaya salad. On this occasion however we eschewed the international cuisine.
Their free range Cornish beef burger came pimped up, oozing homemade tomato chutney, garlic mayonnaise and tangy comté cheese, served in a sourdough bun with French fries. A great burg-er is a brasserie classic and this one didn’t disappoint. On the other side of the table, the home-made salmon and smoked haddock fishcake was a hit, seasoned just right and saved with wilted spinach, leeks, peas and baby gem lettuce, a free range poached egg and tartare sauce. A clas-sic combination but cooked to perfection. Come autumn I would certainly plump for the slow-cooked boeuf bourguignon with red wine sauce, lardons, baby onions, mushrooms and mash. Could there be a more comforting dish?
Those sweet of tooth will be pleased to hear that the dessert menu is suitably French, boasting cherry amadine of frangipane and fresh cherries with crème anglaise and a chocolate feullantine, the decadent French classic of layered chocolate sponge and mousse. Alas, we were too stuffed to attempt a dessert, but will certainly be back for more.
By the time we’d finished the place was buzzing, but even when packed the service was great and the atmosphere wasn’t irritatingly loud. In fact my only gripe was the lack of a cloakroom; the night of our visit it was pouring with rain, and the fact that there was no cloakroom, no coat rack and awkward shaped chairs which our coats slid off the back of, it meant we had to sit with them either dripping down our backs or in a wet heap on the floor. She might not think it a huge deal, but it was a real frustration in what was otherwise a lovely evening.
Laurel reviewed Brasserie Blanc on Mon 02 Sep 2019