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Wandsworth’s Michelin-starred neighbourhood treasure lives and breathes consistency – no wonder readers absolutely love it. At the heart of things is Bruce Poole’s ‘sensational’ cooking – a highly
personal take on Anglo-French cuisine founded on top-drawer produce, hard-learned technique and fully rounded flavours. To start, brochette of duck hearts with fregola, girolles and salsa verde
sets the bar high, and the kitchen keeps it colourful with a warm salad of squid, octopus and broccoli with a brandade fritter. More traditional ideas also please – from crisp pork belly with
celeriac choucroute to Devon chicken with creamed borlotti beans and tarragon. Desserts such as Bruce’s renowned crème brûlée are unmissable, but do save space for the ‘impeccable’ cheeseboard. On
the downside, extending the dining room may have answered the clamour for tables but the mood can now seem downright noisy, with staff increasingly feeling the heat. Still, a ‘ridiculously varied
array’ of superb wines should see you right.
Perched on the edge of Wandsworth Common, the renowned Chez Bruce has long been a destination restaurant for well-heeled Balham-and-Clapham-ites, Chez Bruce Outsideso back in February Forks-Up decided it was high time we saw what all the fuss was about, and phoned to book a table. Informed by a heavily French accented receptionist that “ze restaurant eez very beezy”, we asked for the next available Saturday dinner date which could accommodate a table for 2 at 7pm. Roll around to early April and the day had finally come, our reservation confirmed 2 days’ beforehand by another Gallic staff member, who was at pains to emphasise that we would need to give our table back by 9.15pm at the latest. I have no problem with table turnaround times, and indeed I’d rather a restaurant was upfront about them, but the onus really should be on the restaurant to ensure that come the allotted time, the diners feel ready, not rushed, and don’t really think they’re “giving back” their table by leaving...
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Some of the best things are those which have stood the test of time. And like a fine wine that gets better with time, Chez Bruce continues to age gracefully in its quaint corner in Wandsworth overlooking the public common.18 years on since Bruce Poole and Nigel Platts-Martin opened Chez Bruce in 1995, the recipe to maintaining their 1 Michelin star success here has remained the same. Uncomplicated, unpretentious French and Modern European cuisine… delectable, tried and tested combinations with a focus on classical techniques… and impeccable execution and service by a very accomplished kitchen and front of house team. We had an amazing time on our last visit here over 2 years ago and as we settled into our seats this time, it was great to see many of the same faces running the dining room with that same seamless efficiency...
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Chez Bruce is a charming Michelin starred restaurant in Wandsworth which has a real ‘neighbourhood favourite’ vibe to it. It’s the sort of place that if I lived locally I’d really enjoy being a regular. The service was warm and friendly and nothing felt too stuffy...
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