Michael Franke / Time Out
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Thu Oct 18 2012
As you might expect from the younger sibling of the Wolseley, there’s glam-factor aplenty here, and the Delaunay manages to attract the intelligentsia out on smart dinner dates. Its interior provides more than a fitting setting, echoing European grand brasserie design, but also evoking Edwardian clubs and the Orient Express.
The menu is far from cutting-edge, experimental or modernist; instead, it celebrates the heritage dishes of mittel-Europe, particularly Austria, Germany and France. Tarte flambée (from Alsace) arrives as thin as a crispbread, but topped like a pizza with smoked bacon and shallots cooked to softness; piping hot, it’s a great appetiser.
Wiener schnitzel might follow: boneless veal beaten to a thin layer with a mallet, then breadcrumbed and fried – a classic dish, perfectly created. Desserts include strudels, or for the chocolate-lover, what might well be London’s best sachertorte.
This is a proper brasserie operating all day, serving breakfast from 7am on weekdays, afternoon teas from 3pm. The adjacent café (called the Counter) is open throughout the day, supplying snacks such as chicken soup with dumplings, or salt beef pretzels.
Refreshingly, you’re treated with equal decorum at the Delaunay, whether you’re a big spender, a celeb, or just popping in for welsh rarebit or hot chocolate. It’s a real treat of a place.
The design is of particular note. David Collins has long been the go-to guy for restaurateurs wanting chic, high-class surrounds in which their guests can enjoy quality cooking. Here Collins takes us back to Grand European cafes between the wars. It’s the sort of space in which one might expect to find ladies in hats having tea, or business men reading broadsheet copies of the Times and awaiting a rendezvous with Harry Lime, all proper cake stands, silver teapots, imposing art and looming antique clocks.
For Collins, the Delaunay is relatively restrained, with green leather banquette seating, and a lot of dark wood, brass rails and mirrors. Low screens give privacy to those trading international secrets or simply conducting a clandestine affair, and a lively art deco floor in black and white marble lightens the tone. The Delaunay is one of three new restaurants in 18 months from Wolseley and Ivy duo Chris Corbin and Jeremy King – the others being Zédel and Colbert.
The Delaunay 55 Aldwych
- Venue phone:
020 7499 8558
- Venue website:
- Opening hours:
Breakfast served 7-11.30am Mon-Fri; 8-11am Sat. Brunch served 11am-5pm Sat, Sun. Tea served 3-6.30pm daily. Meals served 11.30am-midnight Mon-Sat; 11.30am-11pm Sun
Tube: Covent Garden or Temple tube, or Charing Cross tube/rail
Main courses £6.50-£27.50. Cover £2. Dinner for two with wine and service: around £120
- 55 Aldwych
- 020 7499 8558
- 55 Aldwych
- The Delaunay