A little bit of Paris in the heart of Piccadilly:
Where do food bloggers go for lunch? Well, you know, we’ve been known to turn up in the most unexpected places. But as it happens, Brasserie Zedel was recommended to me by another blogger and good friend of mine, The Hedonist – so when I arranged to meet Karen Burns Booth of Lavender and Lovage for lunch it seemed like a good place to try. Especially as she spends a good part of her time living in France. Literally just off Picadilly Circus, you reach the Brasserie by walking through the tiny cafe down some steps. And you might just be stepping into La Coupole. Grand in the traditional French Brasserie style I wondered how the food would live up to the surroundings! It’s the brainchild of Chris Corbin and Jeremy King who also run The Wolseley and The Delaunay, both charming, successful and while not overpriced, not somewhere to go every day unless you have unlimited funds!
The first thing you might notice at Brasserie Zedel is that there’s a great attention to detail, from the marble and mirrored walls to the cutlery and lighting. And the menu is as authentic a French brasserie menu as any I’ve seen in Paris.
We both love French food and found it hard to chose a starter. So, in the end we shared a Pissaladiere and a Salade frisée aux lardons.
The pissaladiere was dark, caramelised with lovely crisp puff base and a very rich oniony/anchovy topping. In fact, my half portion (shown below) would have been enough as a starter for me
Frisee looked pretty much exactly as I’d expected but for the egg. I was grateful that Karen enjoyed the hand poached egg sitting on top…since I am not a great fan. Something to remember for next time since I loved the salad but didn’t anticipate the egg on top.
Of the dishes we ate, my main course was much my favourite – a lovely Sea Bream fillet with Sauce Vierge. Perfectly cooked with nice crispy skin and a pretty dressing of sauce on some roasted fennel.
Shhhh, I ordered a side of frites too…which is just as well, because I would have been stealing from Karen if I hadn’t ordered my own!
Karen was delighted with her Goujons of Whitebait. They DID look delicious and she was impressed that the lemon came with it’s little muslin cloth cover to avoid squirting juice into your dining companion’s face! The quality of food and presentation really belies the price tag of this restaurant
We enjoyed a couple of Pichets of rather nice and very drinkable Rose with our meal – so the bill including service was around £30 each. But, the food itself is very reasonable – with set menu options for £8.75 for two courses and £11.25 for three. Most starters priced around £3-£6 and mains ranging from £7.50 for a steak hache up to £18.50 for Filet mignon.
This is the type of venue it’s hard not to enjoy. Service is quick, efficient and friendly and the food is very good value given the freshness and quality of ingredients. And, it is somewhere you could bring your parents or a group of friends and have a meal that could cost you two or three times the price elsewhere in London. While there’s nothing astonishing about the place other than the prices, that’s exactly the point of Brasserie Zedel.
20 Sherwood Street
London W1F 7ED