Two's company. A few words on food, drink and little adventures! @atablefortwoLDN
Brasserie Zédel can only be described as unadulterated opulence for the gastrically concerned masses. Beneath the jostling streets of Piccadilly and behind an almost modest street side facade lies a labyrinth of splendour. Down the stairs and into the foyer you’ll be greeted with hand-painted murals, chandeliers and rich velvets. Such grandiose (one could imagine) is reminiscent of Titanic’s grand hall with only the clientele bringing us back to modern times. Already, overwhelmed with palatial settings we finally reached the dining hall, which with its immense size and equally tall ceilings is no less impressive.
A bustle of waiters and maître d’s, chatter and cutlery clatter from guests make the whole room come alive. Due to its size, this is certainly quite overwhelming and guests who might be after a romantic setting might therefore be a little disappointed. Saying that there’s a ‘seen and not heard’ ethos behind the service and once sat down you can almost forget the roomful of other guests surrounding you. The waiters certainly don’t concern themselves with anything but efficiency, so don’t expect any idle chatter. When asked for recommendations, our waiter kept things very generic not expressing any particular enthusiasm for any dish. Whilst the menu is safe, there are plenty of comfortable and pleasing options to choose from. Not really strung up on gimmicks, its food for food’s sake (and relatively priced). You might however, want to brush up on your french skills beforehand as most of the menu is “en francais” with no help for any novices who might not indulge in the language.
As we were celebrating, we decided to go all out. As starters we chose, “ Tartare de Saumon” and “Pâté de Campagne Maison”. The salmon tartare due to it’s freshness definitely won over the pâté, however both dishes lacked any real seasoning and were a tad insipid. The mains followed- Confit de Canard aux Lentilles du Puy (confit of duck with braised puy lentils) was as expected, a hearty fare. The duck was well cooked but much like the starter didn’t include any signature flavours. Our other main, “Truite aux Amandes” (trout with almonds) was a pleasure to tuck in to. The beautifully cooked whole trout with a flavoursome light butter glaze worked well with the sprinkle of toasted almonds on top. Our waiter unfortunately, failed to inform us that side dishes had to be ordered separately so by the time the steamed spinach arrived the fish got a little cold. An almost perfect dish let down by service.
Although relatively full, there was still space for dessert. The french pride themselves on Crème Brûlée, so it seemed fitting that we were to order one at Brasserie Zédel. It didn’t let the side down. Probably the highlight of our meal, the rich vanilla crème melted in the mouth against the thick caramelised crust which cracked with every spoonful.
A nice bottle of Sauvignon Pays d’Oc 2012 from the well priced wine list successfully accompanied our Brasserie Zedel dining experience from start to finish. Despite a few service issues, our visit was a pleasure. Whilst we may have felt a little disappointed with some dishes if served in more expensive french restaurants, value of the menu combined with attention to detail and the restaurant’s grand surroundings, creates affordable luxury.
Date wise, Brasserie Zédel is your ace in the hand, play it close to your chest until theres occasion for it. Book quite in advance or set up camp at the very well equipped Bar Américain and try and catch an elusive table.
20 Sherwood Street
London, W1F 7ED
Tel: 020 7734 4888