A smart French bistro, Brula has long been the hub of gastronomic life in Twickenham. With its smoked mirrors, deep-red banquettes & stained glass, it’s the antithesis of the stark modern dining room, but proves that not everything has to be cutting edge to be good. An air of casual competence pervades the place: neither customers nor staff are in a rush, diners having complete confidence in the operation. The cooking isn’t startlingly original – start with chicken-liver parfait or butternut squash & goats’ cheese feuilleté; continue with choux farci or cod with wild mushrooms & Jerusalem artichokes – but the kitchen plays to its strengths. Big names tend to be absent on the all-French, thoughtfully compiled wine list, replaced by smaller producers of equivalent wines. The result is a remarkably good-value choice, with plenty by the carafe & glass.
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