Bistrot Bruno Loubet

Critics' choice
Amy Murrell
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In September 2014 the restaurant appointed David Fogelman as new head chef. The American-born Fogelman, who has worked at a number of restaurants including the nearby St John, was planning to develop the Bistrot’s menus alongside Bruno Loubet. The Food and Drink Editors

Chef Bruno Loubet has a lofty reputation, but his restaurant seemed to be coasting on our last visit – perhaps the launch of Grain Store was having an effect? A signature dish, beetroot ravioli with rocket and parmesan, was lovely, finely blending sweet, savoury and subtle acidity, but ‘duck pastrami’ – really just cured duck – with coleslaw was pleasant and no more.

Menus stray far from French tradition into global territory, often with radical flavour contrasts, as in another regular, braised beef indochine in an ultra-rich spicy sauce offset by a mango fruit salad. It’s certainly original, but this one lacked finesse. A summer seafood cassoulet featured salmon, cod and a seafood ‘sausage’ that had been very intricately put together, but also lacked any wow factor. Another sharp contrast appeared in a dessert, a fairly conventional chocolate and praline mousse topped by a very strong bitter-coffee jelly, a mix that divided opinion.

The ground-floor space, in the chic Zetter hotel, is bright, airy and slightly functional; service is charming but rather slow. The wine list seems almost deliberately expensive – should you want a bottle rather than only a glass – with very little under £25.



Venue name: Bistrot Bruno Loubet
Address: 86-88 Clerkenwell Road
Opening hours: Breakfast served 7-10.30am Mon-Fri; 7.30-11am Sat, Sun. Lunch served noon-2.30pm Mon-Fri. Brunch served noon-3pm Sat, Sun. Dinner served 6-10.30pm Mon-Sat; 6-10pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Barbican or Farringdon
Price: Main courses £13.50-£21.50

Average User Rating

3.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:5
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:2
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One of our favourite in London: great location, menus and wines, ideal for birthdays and special celebrations. went twice. each time near perfection. one dish was cold once but very quickly replaced and with apologies. Welcoming French service. Quenelles were excellen. All meat and fish dishes perfect. Special mark for the chocolate cheese cake totally memorable. Highly recommended!


Three friends and I had the tasting menu, and it was amazing! Being from the hospitality industry myself, I must say 'Everything was delicious and inventive'.. I am planning to go back again soon with some of my colleagues, and I am guaranteed a fabulous night. See you soon!


Easy going, ambient but with impeccable waiting staff and wonderfully cooked inventive and extensive dishes. I'll be back.


Great food, great wine, very friendly service, I'd come back time and time again.


I have been to this restaurant many times now and the food and ambience has always been amazing. The main problem is the service. Waiters don't really know what they are doing and there doesn't seem to be much organisation. We had to call waiters to order, to take our dishes, to provide new glasses for wine etc. This is ashame. If the service was sorted it would be our favourite london haunt. Also the front of house is a bit of a plonker.....shabbily dressed, couldn't care less arrogant attitude.


Love this place - stayed at the Zetter (ajoining hotel) for our anniversary last year and have kept coming back to this restaurant. Very reasonably priced, delicious food. On one occasion my rabbit was undercooked, so the maitre de sent it straight back, gave it to us for free and gave the whole table free deserts. Really impressive service


Very disappointed - especially for the price! There were 9 of us and the waiter forgot to place orders for two of the meals!. My 'medium to well done steak' was bright pink, bloody and raw - for £23.80 that is unforgivable. There was no offer of bread or anything while we sat there for half an hour waiting to order our food. One of the meals that was forgotten, arrived just as the rest of us were finishing. when we asked the waiter if it was because he had forgotten to place the order, he said 'yes i forgot.' but no apology. None of us will be going back. there are much better places in london


A thoroughly disappointing lunch. Bad atmosphere, bad service. One dish - sea trout and citrus ketchup - was the worst thing we've eaten for a long while. Lacklustre throughout, dull wine and disinterested people. Not what we were expecting.