Like a well-cut blazer, Chez Bruce may not be especially original, but it is largely reliable. In 2010 the restaurant expanded into the neighbouring site, but little changed (apart from the increased seating), and not much has altered since. With a pale colour scheme, tasteful framed art on the walls, proper glassware and staff in crisp shirts and ties, the look is a study in classic (if slightly dated) restaurant decor. The cooking is equally timeless, led decisively by the French school (foie gras, côte de boeuf), without much deference to culinary fads. Rillettes of wild sea trout, dill and crème fraîche were accompanied by a mouthful of smoked eel and a wide array of edible garnishes – from Lilliputian dices of apple to sprigs of watercress – to produce a plate of food that looked as good as it tasted. Tender, slow-cooked calf’s cheek served with golden braised sweetbreads and perfectly al dente baby vegetables was no less impressive. Only a dessert of cloyingly sweet caramel topped with two mousses (milk chocolate, salted caramel) and pieces of honeycomb was uncharacteristically misjudged. The formal service was also a touch over-attentive. Our advice? Immerse yourself in the wine list – one of the finest (and best value) in the capital – and any minor slip-ups will quickly be forgotten.
|Venue name:||Chez Bruce||Contact:|
2 Bellevue Road
|Opening hours:||Lunch served noon-2pm Mon-Fri; noon-2.30pm Sat, Sun. Dinner served 6.30-9.45pm Mon-Thur; 6.30-10pm Fri, Sat; 7-9pm Sun|
|Transport:||Tube: Wandsworth Common rail|
|Price:||Set lunch (Mon-Fri) £27.50 3 courses; (Sat, Sun) £35 3 courses. Set dinner £45 3 courses|
|Do you own this business?|
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Average User Rating
3.8 / 5
- 5 star:7
- 4 star:2
- 3 star:2
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:2
Exquisite food celebrated simply and elegantly. Service is exceptional and the menu is seasonal and exciting. The wine list is extensive with experienced sommeliers on hand to advise. One of the best restaurants in London.
My favourite local restaurant and one that is consistently good - I've been a regular for 10+ years and rate the food and service. Value for money is excellent and the wine list broad enough for all pockets. Only thing I struggle with is the jeans and trainers policy - these are allowed and this seems a shame for a smart restaurant but guess it fits with being a local eaterie
For my first trip in several years, I took my wife and in-laws for Saturday lunch last week - Chez Bruce remains one of the best value fine dining restaurants in London. The service is perfect - from warm savoury biscuits when you arrive to the surprise shortbreads after coffee. Perfect service, helpful sommelier, knowledgeable staff and accomplished food made for a long and very pleasing lunch.
Have now had a few disappointing trips to CB and will not be returning (after having been a customer for a good 10 years) - the time before last, my main course (cod with olive oil mash) was incredibly salty so had to go back and my husband was left eating on his own while I waited for it to reappear, and when it did I was told that the chef said it was fine - which it really wasn't. What happened to the customer is always right...? Admittedly they gave us a couple of extras later to try to make up for it but it did spoil the meal. Last time (a week ago) I had the foie gras starter, John Dory main and cheese and woke up at 4am, very ill, with what I assume (albeit this was not medically tested) was food poisoning; another one of our party who had the same main course was also ill the next day. Several days later, there has still been no response from the restaurant to our email telling them about this - not great particularly given the cost of the meal (despite the set price you can really whack up the bill with aperitifs, wine choice and the dreaded "supplements" as mentioned below). I must say on the positive side that the service was excellent, but overall I would also agree that the quality of the food, while still good (illness aside!), is not "outstanding" as it used to be prior to the restaurant's expansion. Next time, I will be going to Trinity in Clapham!
The food was over-rich and in the case of the oxtail starter, downright oily. The one star is for the excellent blood orange sorbet. The broccoli with my main course was overcooked and soggy. When I complained I was told I was wrong, and that Bruce had tasted it and it was as it should be. While this may have been right, as the customer I don't expect to be addressed in a patronising tone (by the restaurant manager) and would have appreciated a straightforward apology and some new broccoli. Surprisingly they docked a pudding off the bill, but with no explanation connecting it to the complaint. I got the distinct impression they were not going to admit they had made a mistake. I feel ithe biggest mistake is for a Michelin chef to tell me soggy broccoli is 'as it should be' - crikey, hasn't he heard of 'al dente?' I think this restaurant really needs to think about their customer service, particularly the rather condescending manner of the manager. We were taken aback by the lack of warmth and welcome in a restaurant of that apparent calibre. That, and the fact that a Michelin chef thinks soggy broccoli is acceptable, means I won't be going again.
As it was my thirtieth birthday it was definitely a time to call on the big guns. Apart from the fantastic service I found the whole experience a tad average. My first course of scallops with a cauliflower puree was exceptional but my main course of bream was a little basic and the 'Mont Blanc' desert was a set of flavours that didn't quite work together. If you are after the tried and tested French style evening then I can think of no better place but if you regard modern cuisine to have moved on in leaps and bounds in the last tens years (like I do) then London is packed full of other restaurants for you. P.S. just wanted to say once again how good the service was, the sommelier that I encountered (obviously different to one in a different review) was very informative and the waiters were efficient and friendly.
Excellent and surprisingly warm service and Time Out description spot on as usual, but not my kind of food. Rather go to Galvin bistro de luxe or Zucca.
Excellent food, a wide ranging wine list and fantastic service. Andy must of been particularly unlucky - as we had three delicious courses each, a unique Austrian white and all for a very reasonable £160. Would recommend whole heartedly.
Very good food, excellent wines and unobtrusive service! I received what I had expected from this gem of a restaurant over looking wandsworth common. A good meal, although the cheese board was great, but it's amusing that they take so much care with the portion sizes.. But it's always sufficient. a new favourite of mine
I spent a month looking forward to dinner at Chez Bruce. Upon arrival we were tucked away behind a mirrored pillar where I was destined to spend the rest of the evening catching glimpses of my own disappointed reflection. 25 minutes before we got a glass of wine on the table from a sommelier who told me the Amarone was 'very fruity' and was unable to elaborate further. Very good warm pigeon salad to start and very average venison to follow (£5 surcharge), dessert of reasonable tart. Largely ignored by staff who saw fit to faun over a rather loud American couple behind us. Cheese board looked exceptional but I had lost my temper by this point in proceedings. For the only time in my life I refused to pay service as there had been none. Expressed my displeasure to a manager whose offer of 'a better experience' on our next visit I have so far declined. There are many better places to eat that are far more convenient to get to. I hope your experience is less excrutiating than mine.