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|Address:||40-42 William IV Street, Strand, London WC2N 4DD|
|Tel:||020 3551 9854|
|Price: £40.00||Wine: £17.50||Champagne: £59.50|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 12N-11pm Sun 11am-6pm|
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It is almost a year since Le Deux Salons launched itself onto the London restaurant scene, trumpeted as a little piece of Paris in London, a ‘Grand Brasserie’ in Covent Garden, ecstatic praise was given for its innovative menu, electric atmosphere and it felt, at the time at least that Anthony Demetre and Will Smith had plugged a gap that desperately needed to be filled in the London restaurant scene.
I revisited Deux Salons on Sunday afternoon with a friend who recalled I had originally recommended the restaurant to him earlier in the year as part of one of his romantic pursuits, which had been successful. He had revisited several times subsequently for similar reasons but unfortunately those visits had not been as fruitful. The quality of the cooking had, however been consistent and we were both looking forward to a great lunch.
It was perhaps telling that we both ignored the main dishes (Burger/Steak/Chop/Chicken) and ordered the Roast Saddle of Welsh Lamb, the ‘plat de jour’. That seemed befitting of a Sunday. He ordered the Fish Soup (probably the best use of Fish on a Sunday) and I had the Steak Tartare.
The main event arrived and looked suspiciously bad. It had the appearance of a boil in the bag canon of Lamb and was served with hard peas. The only texture to be found on this soggy plate were some amazing crispy roast potatoes. We actually enquired if the meat had been vacuum cooked in a water bath because perhaps we were the fools but apparently not, somehow this meat had seen dry heat – but to use the adjective ‘Roast’ to describe it was ambitious.
Desserts of Lemon Tart and Mille-Feuille were good, as were our starters but I couldn’t help thinking there was nothing to really celebrate on the menu, or indeed to distinguish it too far from Côte – that gap appears to be narrowing and this 150 seater restaurant was only ‘une salon’ and at 10% capacity at that time. It makes you wonder.
Despite everything I will return and try again, but not on a Sunday afternoon and not until the reintroduction of their fantastic Cassoulet or something similarly exciting I can’t just as easily find served up at a chain.