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|Address:||2 Bellevue Road, London SW17 7EG|
|Tel:||020 3544 6048|
|Price: £70.00||Wine: £22.00||Champagne: £60.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 12N-2.30pm (Sat-Sun -3pm) 6.30-10pm (Fri-Sat -10.30pm Sun -9.30pm)|
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
I had eaten (obviously some time ago) at Harveys, MPW’s home for many years which occupied the same space. I have eaten at La Trompette many times and a few times at The Glasshouse but never seemed to make it to Chez Bruce. Birthday dinner seemd to be a good time to pop my Chez Bruce cherry.
I did probably have above average expectations, I know the quality of the sister restaurants (and Nigel Platts-Martin’s pedigree – I love the Ledbury – The Square not as much but appreciate it!), and the problem with such high expectations is that you can get very disappointed – very quickly.
The dining room is small. Too small. It does pack ‘em in. On the upside it has a front room kind of feel, warm and inviting. A low, cheery buzz of diners chatting. This does however make the service a tad bumpy and possibly why it was a little slow.
Then the menu – it is safe to say that I could have eaten nearly all the dishes on the menu. They all called out to me in some way. Game Sausage with cotechino, Smoked Eel and Salmon Terrine and Jerusalem artichoke soup (one of my favourite things) – but the winner was the Capocollo with Celeriac Remoulade, Rocket and Grissini.
I like to know what I am going to eat, but I feel that the menu really does waste quite a lot of ink. What with the world melting and toner cartridge prices going up surely the dish should have been named Capocolla and Celeriac Remoulade. Aside from the name and the printing, this was lovely. I prefer this to the ubiquitous Parma ham, altogether more smoky and tasty. Celeriac remoulade was perfectly executed, kick of mustard – check, creamy consistency – check. A simple dish but exactly what I wanted on a cold evening.
Next up – Confit of Pork Belly with caramelised apple, black pudding, savoy cabbage, mustard and crackling – my fingers are really getting tired typing out all these names…So – So – So Soft and crispy on top. I have never thought of confit-ing pork belly before, but it is now on the list. The menu description missed off, potato, carrot and pearl onion all roasted in there own juices! It was a great dish. Warming and perfectly sized and a classic combination.
Puddings all looked inviting and I ended up going chocolatey. Hot Chocolate Pudding with praline parfait – amazingly pronouncable and only using 11 syllables. Now I don’t know what I expect anymore when I see the words ‘hot’ and ‘chocolate’ on a pudding menu, is it a cake, an hot mousse, a fondant, soufflé ?? Lots of chefs have tried to improve upon Raymond Blancs Signature Chocolate dish, many have failed, but along the way they have all tried to invent their own name for it- I have said it before and I will say it again the Chocolate Bento box at Nobu is the best chocolate pudding in the land BUT it is just a Chocolate Fondant.
My pudding kinda was just a bit of soft chocolate cake with a lot of sauce and a very good praline ice-cream – not parfait – again can’t we just say what we mean.
It was a lovely meal overall. After the great bottles of wine and the extra plates of cheese it was just shy of £100 a head. That is due to indulgence, but I think that of an evening or a lunchtime Chez Bruce is more that affordable. They do what I consider to be the only way to price a restaurant – you pay a fixed price for two or three courses and supplement that for truffles/caviar and such. Dinner is £42.50 ahead that way at Chez Bruce, which I think is fair and it will make you go back again and again.
The thing is I am not sure I will be back. Sure the menu annoyed me with it’s descriptions, the room was too cramped and the service a little slow all of which are easily forgivable when paired with the food – but I think what it really lacked was any kind of excitement, oomph or pizzaz – it was just safe.