The first London branch of a French franchise rooted in Belgium, Leon de Bruxelles deals in workaday riffs on moules-frites plus other Belgian staples, all aimed at passing tourists. The white decor is pleasant enough, with colourful accents from modern chandeliers and bespoke canvases; meanwhile the prime location gives views of theatreland. That said, the whole set-up could do with some more work: a lack of music and a TV ad for Belgium playing on loop serve to sterilise the mood, and smiley staff can slip up when it comes to details such as sensible pacing. The food also lacks passion: witness a dollop of crème fraîche separating unpleasantly atop the house moules, or a gratin of bivalves with an all-encompassing cape of congealed cheese – both served with ‘cardboard’ fries. On the plus side, the mussels are fresh, the beer list is solid, and prices don’t raise eyebrows.
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