To demonstrate how well they have adapted to the requirements of ‘the new normal’, the Brasserie Blanc team kindly invited Team DI to try some complimentary food in their lovely venue. The tables were all comfortably spaced out, and after a while we stopped noticing the plastic screens and waiting staff’s visors, as we were too busy enjoying the great food and comfortably stylish surroundings. Even if the food had been so-so, I am sure the overall experience would still have been positive, thanks to the genuine, friendly and attentive waiting staff, who went out of their way to demonstrate the meaning of the word ‘hospitality’. As it was, the food was every bit as good as the decor and service.
There is a wide selection on the menu which made narrowing down choices rather tricky - in the end I opted for things that were decidedly un-French but that I couldn’t ignore as they sounded too intriguing. It may be a cliche that the first bite is with the eyes, but BB totally nailed the presentation, and the prettiness of my jackfruit fritter salad was matched by a beautiful freshness. The fritters themselves were crispy with a good bite to them, and the accompanying salad was zesty and complex. The ‘crispy noodles’ were notably unusual - they appear to have been rice noodles, fried so that they take on the texture of a long, thin prawn cracker. I am sure I provided the other diners with a bit of entertainment as I tried (and failed) not to look totally daft while attempting to steer them delicately from plate to mouth… My partner reported that his fish soup was fantastic - smelling and looking very fishy but with a surprisingly subtle flavour.
Our mains arrived promptly: my partner’s sirloin steak (he couldn’t resist based on the description - the ethically-reared beef is selected by the Queen’s butcher, no less!) was perfectly cooked and at just under £20 with fries was fabulous value. Even the herby garlic butter (an accompaniment which so often risks being one-note) was superbly fragrant. My miso aubergine was unexpectedly spicy, but the baba ganoush (the creamiest I’ve ever tasted) was a great foil. I had ordered a side of fries, thinking that half an aubergine would leave me hungry - but I underestimated our hosts: the dish was served with a sufficient variety of vegetables that I hardly needed them (though I enjoyed them all the same!).
Feeling rather full, we pondered the dessert menu for a long time and decided to split one of the Brasserie’s signature pistachio souffles, based on a recommendation from our waitress - though again, all the other options sounded exciting. The souffle was wonderfully theatrical: bright green and almost bursting from the ramekin, yet managing to remain light and delicately flavourful. It was a fitting end to a special meal.
If your idea of a great meal in a restaurant is a series of dishes you (probably) wouldn’t be able to recreate for yourself at home, then Brasserie Blanc is a must - we are planning to return soon so that we can explore the rest of the menu. And there’s no time like the present, to take advantage of their extended Eat Out to Help Out discount!