Brasserie Zedel

Brasserie Zedel

You get what you pay for

5/10

It’s not exactly cheap once you order 3 courses and drinks, but Brasserie Zedel offers decent value for money in London’s West End, and a feel of something different – the likes of which the formula driven Café Rouge, Pizza Express and Bills can only hope for. Located less than a minute from Piccadilly Circus, this basement restaurant is deceptively bathed in light. Vast and sprawling, there is a giddy, over-the-top theatricality involved in the red velvet seating, brass rails, and gold leaf embellished marble columns – we are not in Kansas anymore Toto.

The menu, written on a rather cumbersome sheet of A3, contains dishes about as subtle as the décor including egg mayo, lobster cocktail, quiche lorraine, frogs legs and snails. The onion soup has a wonderful warm savoury smell that diffuses through the air, and is full of chunks of baguette and caramelized onion. Half a dozen oysters arrive on crushed ice and are nice enough with a shallot dip and buttered bread, whilst smoked herring is presented with softened potatoes.

So far so good and now for the litmus test – duck. I find a restaurant is defined by how well (or not) it cooks prawns and duck. Having had plenty of bad versions of both, I hold firmly to this belief. Ironically, the roast duck is actually the best main – pink fleshed and crisp skinned, with softened cherries and a puddle of ‘mousseline’ mash and gravy. The menu falls short on other offerings; steak hache is studded with a touch too many peppercorns and the side of fries are thin to the extreme – dangerously similar to those at McDonalds. Choucroute alsacienne is formed of a pile of pale sauerkraut with a range of piggy additions which are acceptable.

Although the dessert section reads very well, only our Ile Flottante is good; composed of cloud-soft poached meringue on a crème anglais with pink sugared almonds. The soufflé is misleading – it is actually a soufflé-shaped iced pudding of sorts and an instant disappointment. Imagine our collective anguish at dipping in for a soft spoonful only to be met with a gritty mass. The opera cake is suspiciously cold and wet as if hasn’t been defrosted quite long enough – sacre blurgh.

With 240 covers to attend to the service is kept busy, average price per person is £30.

Tube: Piccadilly Circus

Oysters at Brasserie Zedel
Oysters
Smoked haddock at Brasserie Zedel
Smoked herring
Onion soup at Brasserie Zedel
Onion soup
Roast duck, cherries, mousseline mash at Brasserie Zedel
Roast duck, cherries, mousseline mash
Steak hache, pepper sauce, fries at Brasserie Zedel
Steak hache, pepper sauce, fries
Choucroute Alsacienne at Brasserie Zedel
Choucroute Alsacienne
Ile Flottante at Brasserie Zedel
Ile Flottante
Opera cake at Brasserie Zedel
Opera cake
Iced passionfruit souffe at brasserie zedel
Iced passionfruit souffe
Art deco entrance at Brasserie Zedel
Art deco entrance
Brasserie Zedel dining area
Brasserie Zedel dining area

Brasserie Zedel on Urbanspoon

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