It was agreed that Brasserie Blanc on London’s South Bank would be ideal for a meal prior to Messiah by Candlelight at the Royal Festival Hall. My Silver Travel friend had been before and extolled its pre-performance menu.
We arrived promptly at 6pm, to find that the special set menu (2 courses for £14) was only available until 4pm – possibly because it was December. So it was the a la carte for us: not such good value as main courses range between £12 to £19.
Only one of group of four opted for a starter – her usual of a cheese soufflé (£7.50) which look deliciously light and fluffy. But this meant a delay on what was a very busy night and time. ST friend and her daughter chose ‘Le Grand’ steak frites at £19.90 – a 9oz Cornish rump steak although one looked significantly bigger than the other.
My crepe francomptoise, two savoury herb pancakes stuffed with creamed spinach, mushroom and ham were gratineed with Old Winchester cheese, was comfort food at its best, particularly with a good grinding of black pepper. This was also the choice of ‘souffle girl’ who was by now well cheesed off! Souffle girl and I shared a bottle of house white which cut through the creaminess beautifully. I would have loved a piece of fresh crusty French bread to mop up the remaining sauce in the bowl.
The service was not at its best and the request from ST friend for a second glass of house red appeared overlooked until we reminded the waiter.
The mis-matched steaks were not up to scratch – the larger being cold and the smaller overcooked for medium rare. However, on complaining the manager apologised and when the bill arrived we found he’d rather ironically taken off the bottle of white wine that soufflé girl and I had shared. A good result for us – delicious food and a free bottle of wine!! As it was Christmas we split the bill!
There was no time for pudding before we had to hot foot it over the road to the Festival Hall. Hopefully this was just a blip on a busy night but the restaurant really should be able to get people obviously going to a performance in and out more quickly.
They also need to ensure the loos are serviced more regularly as they were a particular disgrace: lack of paper, overflowing bins, problems with flushing and rubbish on the floor.