Sunday, 11 April 2010


Chez Bruce in Wandsworth common for lunch on a Saturday was a celebration of our good friend Jaime's birthday and also a celebration of our collective love of food - and this one didnt disappoint.

I love the experience of michelin starred restaurants, allowing me to enjoy the full three courses, trying out and pairing flavours and wines together but I do think sometimes fine dining can be a little stuffy and formal. The wait staff were very good but I think they could relax the formal wear during lunch.

They brought bread to the table as we arrived, sultana and walnut bread and a salted white bread. I didn't try the third option which looked like a sourdough. One funny moment happened when the waiter told us to move our bread to the small plate on the left, not the right as we had been using!

We had Prosecco £32, followed by a Bourgogne Aligote £30, (I bought this for 6euros in France, its a table wine but fresh, light and doesn't dominate the flavour of the food) and a Pouilly Fumé from Loire Valley £38 with our main. I thought the wines were rather expensive. For Saturday lunch, the meal was £32.50 for 3 courses and you could choose the cheese course for an additional £10 although none of us did. We finished the meal with coffee which came with melt in your mouth chocolate truffles and sweet shortbread.

If you can go at lunch time during the week they have a special deal for 3 courses for £29.50

Overall both Nick and I thought it was pretty solid, everything tasted amazing. Presentation generally good but the picture below of my main doesn't really do it justice and my dessert was a bit retro looking.
Nick ordered Watercress soup and smoked salmon with grain mustard chantilly;
Grilled Shetland Salmon with wild garlic risotto, new seasons morels and asparagus; Champagne jelly with poached yorkshire rhubarb jelly, clotted cream and palmiers.

Other highlights included the starter of Crisp fishcake with beurre blanc, smoked haddock, poached egg, shrimps and samphire (breakfast!) and for a main Roast Wood Pidgeon with braised pearl barley, crisp black pudding, swiss chard and sherry vinegar. 

What I ate:
Thinly sliced raw halibut with oyster and herb dressing, avocado and grapefruit.

I was unsure if I'd like this, I haven't had a lot of experience with raw fish, like sashimi and don't think I've tried an oyster, the slimyness quality scared me off. But I wanted to push my boundries and what better opportunity to do that but in a fine restaurant.
The flavours were quite intense but the avocado helped cut out some of that strong fish taste. I enjoyed it, its going to lead me to order this sort of thing again.

Taleggio and radiccio tortellini with roast pears, walnuts and balsamico

My word, this was delicious. Taleggio is a type of cheese and radiccio a leaf, chicory, similar to cabbage. It looked a bit like relish and the consistancy was quite firm and chewy. Perfectly, freshly made pasta really does make a difference. There was a bit of artichoke thrown in to the mix as well. I was really happy with this choice.

Muscovado custard with macadamias, fresh coconut and lemon zest.

Complete with the paper doily it looked a bit like someones Nana had made it in the 70s. But the taste won me over. The custard is lovely and the coconut, was not as over powering as you might think based on the quantity used. I expect that had something to do with it being fresh. It was an unusual choice for me, I usually go for fruity, sweet desserts. There was a Pear an frangipane tart and a Champagne Jelly with Rhubarb, which was my first choice but Nick got that so I selected this. Its a good choice if you don't like too sweet or rich desserts.

Champagne Jelly with poached yorkshire rhubarb, clotted cream and palmier. Pear and frangipane tart with vanilla ice cream.

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Em. x. said...

Looks oh so yummy! And, great pics!

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