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Brasserie Zédel

  • Restaurants
  • Piccadilly Circus
  • price 2 of 4
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
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  7. Zedel
    Tim Winter

Time Out says

5 out of 5 stars

A vast French pleasure palace under the streets of Soho.

Glitz, glamour and the feminine urge to dangle a mother of pearl cigarette holder from your lips while simultaneously making smalltalk with the ghost of Josephine Baker; Soho’s magnificent Brasserie Zédel might just have it all. 

One might assume the restaurant was created as an art deco Mr Fogg’s or a cynically thrown-together faux-flapper playground with MDF balustrades. Yet when it comes to authenticity, Zédel is impressively legit. It’s only gone under the Brasserie Zédel name since 2012, but this vast, subterranean space was once the bowels of The Regent Palace Hotel, built in 1915 and rejigged in the early 1930s to give it some extra Jazz Age oomph. From the two original bars; Chez Cup (now Zedel’s cabaret room Crazy Coqs) and Dick’s Bar (now the birch-clad Bar Américain), to the sweeping, cruise-liner-esque dining room, this epic pleasure palace has been tucked under the streets of Soho for over a century. Following a spell as the celeb-y Atlantic Bar and Grill in the 1990s, big boy restaurateurs Corbin & King did the city a huge favour when they revived it as Zédel following the same grand European bistro blueprint as their successful Mayfair project The Wolseley

In little over a decade Brasserie Zédel has become a London landmark, and, despite its unparalleled size, is never knowingly not rammed. Take your folks, take a date, take an out-of-towner and see their jaws drop as you lead them down the twisting staircase to the main dining room as if you were announcing their debut into high society. 

In little over a decade Brasserie Zédel has become a London landmark, and, despite its unparalleled size, is never knowingly not rammed. 

But enough of the seductive marble columns, strokable travertine walls, and giant fin de siècle French art – what of the food? Long gone is Zedel’s famed two courses for under a tenner deal, but the prix fixe menu remains, it’s just a little more prix-y than before. That said, two courses for £16.95 (or three for £19.75) remains decent value for a zingy mound of dijon-drizzled carottes râpées followed by the house speciality of steak haché – another mound, this time of chopped steak with peppercorn sauce and perfect fries. Slam a creme brulee on the end and you’ve got yourself a fabulous three course dinner for under £20. Split a hearty pichet of house wine for £21 and you’re laughing. The really rather very good Django Reinhardt-style live jazz that oozes from the small stage in the main room? That’s free. The flamingo pink cloth napkins that you’ll find in the kitchens of mates across the capital? They’ll cost you however much dignity you’re willing to spill while stuffing one into your bag and hoping you’ve not been spotted by your kindly server.

Set menus and minor theft aside, the menu brims joyfully with well-done French classics – there’s onion soup in a classic lion’s head tureen, platters of garlicky escargots, coq au vin and a sturdy chariot de fromages cheese trolley – as well as an entire section dedicated to choucroute, that acquired taste of assorted sausage from the Germany-bordering Alsace region of France. At £26.50, the ‘Royale’ is the biggest of the lot, and came with cured and smoked belly of pork, a frankfurter, ham hock, garlic sausage and boudin blanc. Intimidatingly large, splitting this abattoir on a platter between two, three or even four of you would be more than acceptable. At the brilliant Brasserie Zédel, anything goes.  

The vibe A spectacular art deco space, packed with London’s most pleasure-seeking diners.  

The food Meaty French classics, as well as plenty of fish.  

The drink Lashings of French wine as well as classic cocktails and French beer. 

Time Out tip Order the prix fixe menu and have zero regrets (there’s a vegetarian option if steak isn’t your bag).

Leonie Cooper
Written by
Leonie Cooper


Brasserie Zédel
20 Sherwood St
Tube: Piccadilly Circus
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