London’s most extravagant restaurant interior gives the eye no idea where to settle. Inside this former pub is an entire zoo of stuffed, ceramic and other animals (a lion, a swordfish, an antelope with a tiara…), cascading glass, dangling handbags, giant, unearthly purple flowers and more – all to sustain the mood of ironic, decadent opulence. As a restaurant, Les Trois Garçons has two sides. It buzzes at night, when hip crowds come to enjoy inventive modern French cuisine at lofty prices. But, it also offers a set lunch menu, with similarly refined cooking at far lower cost – an exceptional deal, though one that attracts far fewer people (so much so that the management may drop it, so catch it while you can).
A neat amuse bouche (not common in set menus) of horseradish cream on a beetroot chip was followed by a deliciously herby truffle and salt-cod brandade. Succulent beef rump in red wine jus on amaranthus leaves kept up the standard, and the trio of sorbets to finish – champagne, melon, lemon – was chilly perfection. Wines are suitably sophisticated, and service professional and charming. The 3G mini-empire also includes the equally louche Loungelover Bar next door and, most recently, Maison Trois Garçons ‘lifestyle café’ in nearby Redchurch Street.