Friday, 12 April 2013

Lunch at Brasserie Blanc, Covent Garden



Sunny Saturday! Is spring finally upon us? To celebrate this sunny Saturday, Scott and I had pushed the boat out a little, we went to have lunch at Brasserie Blanc at the heart of Covent Garden.


Brasserie Blanc is part the the restaurant empire of chef Raymond Blanc, where they serve a relax but high quality French cuisine with an affordable price. The brasserie has restaurants all over the country. And the Covent Garden branch is right above the Apple Market.

I had come here for evening drinks in the past, the bar area was elegant with comfy cushioned seatings that were overlooked the indoor shopping arcade. So I had high hopes on the lunch.

Saturday was a bit windy, but it was sunny so that we opted to sit at the terrace outside. The view was great, we overlooked the busy Covent Garden Piazza while enjoying a glass of Blanc's own label white wine. Bread basket was good and the butter was yummy!!

Scott and I both ordered from the special lunch menu (£16.50 for 3 courses; £14 for 2 courses).



Mine -Beetroot and Watercress Salad

Such a simple dish, but the beetroot were so yummy! (The beetroot were too shy, so they were hidding underneath the layer of fresh crisp watercress) The balance of sweetness and sharpness was just perfect. The texture was tender but still had a bite to it. I never realised beetroot could be so tasty!


Scott's - Potted Mackerel

If you like mackerel and pate, this would be your top choice. The Pate was rich and flavoursome. The only criticism we had was  - it had too little bread! Two little sticks just simply not enough. We wish we had kept some bread from the bread basket before.





Mine - Sardines with Olive oil mash and roasted fennel

The two sardines were huge! However one was a little bit under-cooked, part of the fish was still translucent.  The olive oil mash was different, it definitely tasted olive oil, it must have used olive oil instead of butter to make the mash. (I know it sounds obvious, but I'd never tried olive oil mash before). It was very interesting that it had a pasta style tomato sauce on the plate. The sauce tasted nice, it would go so well with penne, but with sardines? Hm.. I wasn't so sure. Apart from the under-cooked fish and the not-sure-what-it-was-doing-in-here tomato sauce, the dish tasted alright, it was just lack of finesse and lack of an anchor flavour to tie the dish together.


Scott's - Steak with herbal butter and fries

Simple steak and chips. We expected the tomato-coloured herb butter was chilli flavoured and spicy, but it was not. It tasted herby, but we couldn't figure out what herbs were used. The steak was served on a slab, looked nice as presentation, but not good for the food temperature, especially we were sitting outside on a cold day. The steak got cold very quickly.





Mine - Stick toffee pudding with vanilla ice-cream

This sticky toffee pudding was the star of the meal. Normally sticky toffee pudding was too rich, too sweet, too dense. This pudding was light and fluffy, the sweetness was just perfect, the toffee sauce was yum yum yum!! We were on the edge of ordering seconds, it was THAT good.


Scott's - Chocolate and banana mousse (sorry, didn't take a picture on this one)

I personally didn't like banana at all so this dessert was not for me. It was rich dark chocolate mousse covered in a layer of alcoholic cream. Where was the banana? We expected it to be the flavour mixed in with the chocolate mousse but it turned out to be pieces of banana at the bottom of the cup.


After the full meal, we moved along to the other end of the terrace (outside the bar) to have a cup of Irish coffee. I found that it is not easy to get a good Irish coffee in London, but this one was perfect! (And we did order seconds on this).

Starters were good, mains were lacking, desserts and coffees were amazing! An the location was ace! It was a good day.