Put on your best beret and head over to Bistrot Bruno Loubet – EC1
Bonjour y’all. If you live/work near Clerkenwell, if you are far away in zone 6 and beyond or simply just here on holiday, I urge you to hop along to Bistrot Bruno Loubet (set within the Zetter hotel) to eat your weight in superb, modern, creative French cuisine at its finest. You really will not be disappointed and will not stop revisiting until you’ve tried the whole menu twice over, atleast that’s my aim. This is exactly what restaurants should be like.
It was recommended to me by one of my favourite restaurant bloggers Chris Pople, so no doubt that I was highly anticipating my gourmet trip.
Bruno Loubet’s culinary CV include ‘The four Seasons Hotel’ where he earned a Michelin within a year, being Head Chef at the two Michelin-starred ‘Manoir aux Quat’Saisons’ in Oxford, opening Bistrot Bruno in Soho, which earned The Times Restaurant of the Year in 1993 and helping Pierre Koffmann run his near legendary pop-up restaurant on the roof of Selfridges amongst many more successes.
We went at 9 o’clock on a saturday and the place was mad busy yet the service was not compromised. The menu surely made me salivate and drool as if I had just come back from a long trip to the dentist. It took me about 15 minutes to decide what I was going to stuff my belly with. Everything stood out equally but we finally decided to order 3 starters and one main as my guest was not too hungry. More for me I guess.
‘Oh my god , oh my god , oh my god’ is literally all I kept saying at each first taste of every dish, making me sound like an American high school teen or a Kardashian sister. Had I lost some brain cells? Unless that’s a side effect of enjoying food a bit too much than no, but I was thanking the high heavens for the meal I was having. You would think a bit extreme but go and try for yourself.
Our first starter was their infamous ‘Guinea fowl boudin blanc on winter cassoulet beans’ (£8.00). I could simply feel the love put into this dish and it gave me a warm tingly feeling. The texture was mousse light and fluffy. Each bite released an array of flavours powerful enough to keep me silent for a while just so I could fully enjoy with no distractions.
A signature dish in its own right – the ‘Mauricette snails and meatballs, royale de champignons sauvages’ (8.50). I had to restrain every inch of my body from screaming and jumping for joy at how simply magnificent this sexy little gem was. The meatballs were veal and ever so delicate, the meaty snails were the best I had tasted in a very, very long time and one can’t help but think that it was the perfect marriage of meats, still going strong in their wedded bliss. The sweet and ‘oniony’ sauce covered a bed of wild mushrooms to die for. Ooh la la!
Beautifully showcased on the plate was the ‘Flame grilled mackerel fillet with smoked cod roe, apple compote seaweed oil’ (£7.00). I admired the presentation and all the different shades of green before ruining it with my fork. Would you you even be surprised if I told you it was as good as it looked? Didn’t think so because It wasn’t surprising. The mixture of sweet and savory worked successfully and I think I could detect a hint of smokiness. There was not one thing left on my plate. The mackerel was prepared immaculately.
The ‘Dish of the day’ was the Hare Royale. I hadn’t had hare in a while and knew you couldn’t go wrong with the dish of the day which our waiter insisted on us having, so who was I to say no? Praise the stars I listened to him. A superb creation which produced playful combinations of flavour. The meat was so tender and oozed richness. This was highly hearty and filling, perfect for the morbid weather condition we found ourselves in that evening.
With every dish being a joy to eat and not lacking consistency, Bistrot Bruno Loubet is one of the best restaurants I have encountered for high quality, French modern cuisine without losing its rustic appeal and without pretentiousness. The quirky setting is seductive, the staff are faultless and go all out on professionalism and the wine list is impressive as well as being known for its reasonable pricing.
What the hell are you waiting for? Put Bistrot Bruno Loubet in your diary immediately, even the Anglo phobes amongst us are sure to be successfully seduced by this French beauty.
Au Revoir et a Bientot mes amis!
Bistrot Bruno Loubet
86-88 Clerkenwell Road