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8 Pall Mall

Tel: 020 7968 2900

Brasserie Roux is a welcome addition to that rare club, affordable good value well executed cuisine in London.

We visited on a Tuesday evening and the first impression is of a very grand hotel restaurant (it is located within the Sofitel St.James on Pall Mall). We were greeted by a smiling and friendly member of staff (all staff appeared to have been obtained from a French charm school) and shown to our table.

The room is spacious and very strikingly decorated (with lampshades that could accommodate a party within themselves!) and has a very French feel to it. Pre dinner aperitifs of glasses of champagne were ordered and delivered promptly together with some pleasing pastry based nibbles. So far so good.

The menu is full of classic French Bistro fare and is divided into categories of Soups, Appetisers, Hot Appetisers, Salads, Eggs, Pasta, Fish & Shellfish and Main Courses (together with a very English "Roast Of The Day") with several in the Hot Appetisers and Pasta sections being shown as either starter or main course.

Options for Appetisers ranged from Soup of the day at 5.00, Selection of Charcuterie at 6.50, Mussels at 6.50 right up to pan fried foie gras & pain epice at 12.50 or various pasta dishes between 5.00 and 7.00.

Our selections were a Macaroni Gratin with Gruyere Cheese (5.50) and for myself Marinated herrings with potato salad (6.50). The pasta arrived still bubbling and was voted a winter warming winner. My herrings were three plump fillets together with a wonderful potato salad and the best version of this dish encountered outside of France (and a good deal better than many there).

To accompany the meal we had a bottle of Alsace Tokay Pinot Gris (14.50) and this French version of the Italian Pinot Grigio was a perfect accompaniment to our meal.

Main course options range from the Pasta (including a truffle scented risotto at 10.50), Crispy whole whiting & lemon butter (9.50), Pan fried fillet of Seabass & saffron noodles (14.50), through Bistro classics such as Grilled Beef Skirt & shallots (10.00), Veal Kidneys & tagliatelle with mustard sauce (10.50), Blanquette de veau (11.50), Coq au vin (10.00) with the Roast at 12.00.

We opted for a Toulouse Sausage & mash with shallot sauce (8.00) and for the Pig Trotter with bernaise sauce and French fries (8.50) together with a mixed salad to share. The order of the trotter elicited a warning from the waiter that it came "on ze bone", clearly an occasional problem with some guests.

Both dishes were excellent. The sausage & mash being judged "like English Sausage & mash but with more pizazz" whilst the breaded trotter was truly succulent.

Desserts were of the same classic Bistro fare and we opted for a Creme Brulee and a bowl of Ice Cream followed by a double espresso and a tea. The Creme Brulee was an excellent example of this dish (perfectly crispy glaze with gorgeous vanilla custard) whilst the ice creams considered "a treat". The tea (selected from a long list of options) was Darjeeling & served in an iron tea pot (and unlike in France, properly made).

All in all an excellent meal in a very French atmosphere. Our only quibble was with the "discretionary service charge of 12.5%" which so many London restaurants seem to consider normal practice. However, as we had enjoyed the meal so much we accepted this.

Ted Heath

Eatanddrink Ratings

Brasserie Roux

Total Score: 76%
Quality: Good
Service: Exceptional
Facilities: Average
Ambience: Average
Value: Good


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