I searched for weeks a London’s French restaurant to celebrate my birthday and finally settled on one of the Galvin’s brother restaurant; Bristrot de Luxe. The restaurant is located on Baker Street opposite Paul’s bakery. It was recommended to me by a friend that said it was highly valued by many food critics, and I can see why after my first visit.
From the moment I stepped in to the restaurant and the seconds I left, the service was excellent. I could not fault the service I had that evening. We had a friendly waitress who was happy to explained any of the dishes to us, which was a big help to decide what to order. In addition, the recommendation made to us with their signature dishes was no disappointments.
The menu was simple, with all starters and mains covered on one A5 side. The same as with the desserts that had wine recommendation. There was also a page for the prix fixe lunch/dinner 3 course menu, that can be order between 6-7pm. In addition, the restaurant had dish of the day which I can remember was two that evening and one of them was lamb. The menu on both the main and prix fixe get changed occasionally.
To start our meal, we called variety of entrees including a portion of twelve escargots à la bourguignonne (£14.00) to share. It also come in six for £8.00, which I think is a good individual portion size. The escargots was plumped and full of flavour from the rich garlic herb butter sauce. The sauce itself did not come to waste and it made it great for dipping the complimentary bread, which turned them in to tasty garlic bread.
Apart from the escargots being my recommendation, the other starter would have to be the Lasagne of Dorset crab, beurre Nantais (£12.00). It was not how I expected since when I see Dorset crab is usually served cold like a salad. But to my surprise it was nothing like the usual Dorset crab starters I have had in other restaurant, instead this was a beautiful warm dish. It was actually a light starters although it was wrapped in a layer of lasagne.
Other starters on our table was the steak tartare & toasted sourdough for those who are brave enough to eat raw beef. It comes in two sizes – £9 or £15.
There was also the terrine of Landaise chicken, foie gras & celeriac, sauce gribiche (£10.00).
Some of my friends had the prix fix menu which they get a choice of one out of two of each course. There was the option of a cold starter containing aubergine which was nice with my small tester. The taste reminded me of a dish that you are likely to find in mediterranean cuisines.
The other option that evening on the prix fixe menu was a pea soup with ham.
For my main, I went for a beautifully cooked Pavé of cod, piperade tartelette & anchoïade dressing (£19.50). It was a piece of beautifully cooked fish that was sitting on top of a thin layer of pastry. It came accompany with olives, anchovies, garlic and capers. The combination provided this dish with full of flavours, especially to the cod which is a piece of fish that requires flavouring to bring it out.
I was tempted to go for the Cassoulet Bistrot de Luxe (£18.50) after the staff explained the dish to us, but settled for fish that evening. The Cassoulet Bristrot de Luxe is actually a casserole dish, which not only did it sounded great but it look like a good comfort food with beans, pork belly and sausage.
I can not remember exactly what this dish a few of us had, but I think it was steak and pig cheek. This was served with some mash, greens and potatoes.
Those of us who went for the 3 courses prix fixe they selected for the lamb served with board beans and mash. This was also an option in the dish of the day.
It was the dessert menu which contained soufflé that made my final decision to settle with Bristrot de Luxe for my birthday dinner. There was definitely no difficulty in choosing my dessert and it had to be the Mandarine soufflé, chocolate & Grand Marnier sauce (£7.50). A light soufflé which is definitely suited to anyone with a sweet tooth that was full of citric flavour. I loved the way how it came to out table and the staff slit it open to pour in the dark chocolate sauce in to it.
As it was my birthday, to my surprise the restaurant wrote Happy Birthday on my plate and it even had a candle. It was so nice of them and it will be a birthday dinner I will remember.
Other dessert that we ordered was the Valrhona chocolate pallet, honeycomb & milk ice cream (£8). The presentation was like a piece of artwork, but each dish that arrived on our table was beautifully presented. It made you mouth watered.
For those who had prix fixe menu they had the choice of brie with walnut and raisin loaf or coffee crème brûlée, milk ice cream & biscotti. The crème brûlée was among the favourite on our table.
For those who prefer not to have dessert then you can enjoy a strong Iris Coffee to finish off a beautiful meal.
We were also got some truffles on our table, which was beautiful and it a thumb up for dark chocolate fans. This was definitely nice coco chocolate. I wonder if they sell them because chocolate that are not sweet is gorgeous.
In term of spending, it would be on the higher end scale, but probabaly not as pricy as the Glavin’s Michelin resturant La Chapelle which I would one day like to visit. Although, these days eating out is expensive and I can easily spend £50 per head where you do not get the quality or the service as perfect as Bristrot de Luxe that evening.
If you do not mind being fixed on your selection of your course and eating between certain time, then the prix fixe menu is quite a good offer. For lunch monday-saturday (12-2:30pm/sunday 3pm) a 3 course would cost £19.50. If it is for dinner monday-sunday (6-7pm) a 3 course would cost £21.50. This all exclude drinks and service charge.
The resturant was cosy and had a relax atmosphere. It was a great choice for a special occasion and it would be a place that I would defintely go back.
Glavin Bristrot de Leux
66 Baker Street,