On our recent visit to London, we were invited to dinner at the newly refurbished Brasserie Blanc Southbank. Tucked away behind the National Theatre, it is conveniently close to Waterloo Station (around 8 minutes walk) or if you are feeling romantic take the slightly longer walk from Embankment Station crossing Embankment Bridge and the Thames.
The reopened restaurant beings a completely fresh new look to the restaurant. At the front the outdoor terrace offers the perfect spot to unwind in the summer sun. Walk inside and the destination bar at the entrance is ripe for a pre dinner drink, coffee or cocktail before the theatre.
A fresh lively botanical theme runs throughout the space now – wood paneling and contemporary artwork offers a homely atmosphere – which I was told was inspired from Raymond’s own kitchen. Out with the former stuffy white tablecloths and in with traditional wooden furniture and handmade ceramics paired up with cosy sofas dotted around. We really do have a slice of rustic French life right in the heart of London now.
The new menu offering is simple and changes quarterly – dishes are classic hearty and French, forget small portions these are generous meals that will satisfy an appetite. Seasonal food drives the menu options, using British produce finished with some of Raymond’s classic French finesse. À bientôt.
The menu is split into Aperitifs, Entres Aperitifs, Plats, Steaks and Sides and lets not forget desserts, but more on that later.
We started with bread and the most delicious butter and a trio of dips – olive tapenade, saffron garlic mayonnaise, virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar. The mayonnaise was divine, it actually reminded me of being in Spain as a child eating alioli, and the tapenade was outstanding, I held onto that for my mains too.
For starters my dining partner opted for the Steak Tartare £8.95 made from free-range Cornish beef, egg yolk, herbs and comes with sour dough and I went for the Crispy Goats Cheese Parcel with Pea & Broad Bean Salad £6.90. The starter was light with Goats Cheese leading the flavours and the Steak Tartare got the seal off approval. I was told it was made to perfection, with just a hint of mustard.
For mains I had the Pan Fried Chickpea and Coriander Cakes £11.50 and the other side of the table had the Roast Barbary Duck with Citrus Sauce £18.50. The Chickpea Cakes came with a roast tomato based sauce and a smoked aubergine sauce which worked extremely well, chickpeas can be bland so they need some additional taste to bring the dish to life. The Duck was again another winner, cooked to perfection and everything on the plate was eaten. I had a nibble of the Dauphinoise potatoes and they were extremely good, rich and creamy.
I am not a massive desert fan, actually who am I kidding, I totally am, it’s just that I want cheese as well and thankfully the Brasserie can deliver. I went for the 3 cheese set, with cheeses coming from the Premier Cheese Company £6.00 and we shared a Pistachio Souffle £6.50. The souffle is a beautiful green colour when you dip your spoon into it and the chocolate ice-cream worked well with it too.
With some helpful steering from the waiter we opted for the Pinot Grigio Provincia Di Pavia. Vinuva, I don’t think you can go wrong with a Pinot! Wines are predominantly from French vineyards but there are a few New World wines thrown in too.
Dinner for two is approx £90 plus tip.
I genuinely enjoyed my experience at the restaurant, for a chain brand, it doesn’t feel like a chain. The food is superb, the wine is excellent and the staff were great. This is a must goto destination restaurant in London.
Address: 9 Belvedere Rd, London, South Bank, Greater London SE1 8YL
Phone: 020 7202 8470