Tuesday, 22 January 2013
Brasserie Zédel: Paris comes to London
If you love Paris and classic French brasserie food, then you will love Brasserie Zédel. You'd need to really, as it's practically a Parisian theme park. It's certainly right up my street (or boulevard) and, given how busy it was when we visited recently one Friday evening, it's clearly a crowd pleaser.
I'm sure the location helps Zédel's popularity, being seconds away from Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square in the basement of the Regent Palace Hotel, the same premises of the old The Atlantic Bar and Grill. The main restaurant is big and buzzy in a grand fin de siècle style and there is a more chic and intimate art deco Bar Américain for cocktails. Brasserie Zédel opened in 2012 courtesy of Chris Corbin and Jeremy King, the slick team behind The Wolseley, The Delaunay and now also Colbert on the old Oriel site in Sloane Square.
As we hadn't booked, we had to wait a while for a table, but, once seated, we were immediately impressed by the quality of the food and service. Given the enormous scale of the place, this is quite an achievement. We really enjoyed our starters – spinach tart (£4.25) and egg mayonnaise (£3.25). The tart had a beautifully thin, crisp crust and the eggs ticked all the right retro boxes. My husband enjoyed his seafood with saffron sauce main course (Friday's dish of the day, £12.75) and my hanger steak with shallots and red wine sauce was particularly good (£10.95 including fries). We finished by sharing some nougat glacé which had an interesting, seasonal garnish of poached cranberries (£3.95). This was all great value for money – especially the steak. Presumably prices need to be reasonable to keep pulling in the punters. It's a huge space to fill. Wine isn't such an obvious bargain, but, helpfully, all but two of the 28 bottles on the nicely edited French list are also available by the glass and carafe. What's more, there are some keenly priced quirky French apéritifs including one my favourites, Pineau des Charentes.
Une très bonne adresse!
20 Sherwood Street
020 7734 4888