La Brasserie Mayfair is the latest attempt to make something work in the tricky street-level site beneath Fakhreldine, London’s swishest Lebanese restaurant. Gone is the previous effort, 1001 Nights (which lasted about half that time), & in its place comes a Franco/Italian/Spanish brasserie. The budget clearly didn’t stretch to replacing the shiny, black nightclubby interior, which contrasts wildly with the casual cooking on offer. Mainstream dishes such as garlicky gambas al pil pil, spaghetti with tomato & basil, croque monsieur, beef fillet with green peppercorn sauce, & chocolate fondant seem designed for out-of-towners who happen to stumble upon the spot. Helpful staff & a Zone 1 location should attract locals, although details such as a typo-ridden menu, wacky pricing (lentil soup is £6.50, yet poulet paillard with roast potatoes & spinach comes in at under £12), & a perfunctory, vintage-free wine list might make them think twice.
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