Review of 'Brasserie Blanc'

It is my wife's birthday so it was her choice for dinner - She chose Brasserie Blanc on Chancery Lane which we pass every day on the way home to catch the tube. Brasserie Blanc was formerly Chez Gerard but has been bought out by the famous chef Raymond Blanc. The idea behind Brasserie Blanc, as it says in the menus, is to provide simple home-based French cooking like his mother used to make. In this regard he has certainly done it.

The location is really suited more for lunch and business diners so was quite quiet on a Friday night. The interior is very pleasant and welcoming as are the staff (if you think it is small think again - there are two rooms just as big in the basement which is used during the week for lunch). We were seated at the very back near the toilets…But it was nice and out of the way (except for the waiting staff which seemed to congregate in the area).

The menu was quite simple - A single page with many classic French dishes. The bread we were given before ordering was amazing - Wonderful texture and delicious. I started with the steak tartar (£8.90) which was served very simply as a small cylinder in the middle of large plate (with a raw egg on top - tobasco and Worchestershire sauce provided separately) - Wonderfully spiced and rich. My beloved had the “Maman blanc’s miscellany of salads” (£7.50) which was a selection of small salads arranged on a round plate - “Carrot vinaigrette, celeriac remoulade, cherry tomatoes, cucumber crème fraîche, radishes and soused vegetables”. She found it wonderful and fresh - Surprisingly also quite a large portion.

For our mains I had the “Beef Stroganoff” (£12.80) which was served with rice but I also ordered a side of french beans (£3.90) for a bit of veggies. The beef was incredible - So very rich and tasty. Absolutely amazing and the star dish of the evening as far as I am concerned. My companion had the grilled salmon (£12.40) served, rather oddly, with fries. Ok, the fries were delicious, they just seemed a bit out of place. She enjoyed the simply cooked salmon and slightly sweet sauce that came with it on the side.

Well, we could not resist dessert even though we were a bit full at this point…I had the dessert special of the day - A “chocolate shortbread” with creme anglais (£6.00) - All I could taste was the rich chocolate served as a long thin slice in the middle of a plate with a smear of cream. Not that this was a bad thing but subtle it was not. My wife could not resist the chocolate ice cream and chocolate souffle (£6.20) - Very rich and wonderful. The souffle was light with a nice almost liquid interior though was perhaps slightly scorched on the top with a bit of black around the edge. She did not complain but could not finish it all…I helped.

Very nice - We will be back. There are a number of things on the menu we would like to try. Though, we may want to avail ourselves of a set menu as the a la carte does add up very quickly…The lunch special is quite reasonably priced. I think Blanc has done what he set out to do - Tasty, simple French home-style food…Only minor quibbles with some of the dishes.

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2012-10-19

Cuisine: French

Address: 119 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1PP ENGLAND

Public Transport: TUBE Chancery Lane

Location: London (England) - Holborn



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Telephone: +44 (0) 207 405 0290