Restaurateurs Chris Corbin and Jeremy King, creators of the Wolseley and the Delaunay, have struck gold with this grand art deco basement brasserie. It’s a huge set-up and attracts a mix of tourists, office types and couples. Affordable French staples are the big draw and set menus start at under a tenner for two courses. In the months after it opened, we’d been impressed by the quality of cooking and on-the-ball service, but recently we’ve detected a dip in standards.
In a meal of hits and misses, highlights included a generous main course of beef bourguignon – meaty chunks simmered in a robust red wine-onion-garlic sauce, accompanied by buttery mash. The haché steak was less impressive, though; instead of chopped meat being shaped and loosely held together, we were presented with a salty, overcooked burger patty. Chocolate profiteroles helped to restore faith – the perfectly baked crisp globes of choux pastry, crammed with splendid whipped vanilla cream, went down a treat with an indulgent chocolate sauce.
The house wine, priced at bargain basement rates, provides great value. Let’s hope the kitchen brigade is back on track soon, and service staff numbers are increased at busy times.
'The only real brasserie in London', Pierre Koffman.
The magnificent brasserie itself has been painstakingly restored to its former glory with 23-carat gold leaf architraving, marble, brass and mirrors. The feel of the restaurant and the menu are reminiscent of a typical Parisian brasserie on a grand scale, offering French classics such as choucroute, bœuf bourguignon and ile flottante. Our prix fixe offerings have become a firm favourite with two courses for under £10. A live band plays every night after 9.30pm.
Early morning to late in the evening Café ZL, the rather relaxed French café and entrance to The Brasserie, is open for a croissant in the morning or a glass of wine on the terrace in the evening.
From Café ZL, follow the neon ‘Zedel’ sign down the staircase adorned with French posters down to the lobby, where you will find The Crazy Coqs. The live entertainment space with a varied programme ranging from cabaret to jazz. The stage has played host to a number of artists including Julian Clary, Anne Reid and Barb Jungr.
The American Bar is a classic cocktail bar, opening nightly seven days a week. A light snack menu is available.