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|Address:||40-42 William IV Street, Strand, London WC2N 4DD|
|Tel:||020 3551 9854|
|Price: £40.00||Wine: £19.75||Champagne: £65.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 12N-11pm Sun 11am-6pm|
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When Les Deux Salons opened, there was excitement on the floor and ambition in the kitchen. I had several excellent meals there and it was a reliable good night out with some special things on the menu and a great wine list. Imagine my disappointment when I went there recently with an out of town guest to discover it has changed its business model, menu and standards to occupy the quick bistro, value-driven, pre/post theatre crowd. I assume this was a necessary business decision in the current economic environment, but what a disappointment. The place had lost its shine and spark, the French wait staff seemed depressed by the change, and the food only just passed the competent bistro mark.
Specifically: the oysters were poorly shucked, shells everywhere, juice spilled all over the plate. The crab cakes were competent, but very small; the beetroot salad was fine but nothing special. For mains, the steak was chewy and the frites not crisp enough; the duck confit was a very small portion, but adequate. The once grand desserts were shadows of their former glory. The signature Paris Brest was burned, the creme brulee was competent but a bit burned on top. The daily special pineapple tart tatin was underwhelming with soggy pastry. The wine list has shrunk, but continues to have a good selection by the carafe. It also remains a large space, so it will continue to be one of the easier places to get a last minute table.
Overall, I won't be back unless I'm desperate for a pre/post theatre supper – but I'll book Terroirs across the street first before booking at Les Deux again.