Bellanger 22

9 Islington Green , London, N1 2XH

020 7226 2555

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SquareMeal Review of Bellanger

The latest restaurant from Jeremy King and Chris Corbin, the uber-restaurateurs who count The Wolseley, The Delaunay and Brasserie Zédel among their ranks, takes its name from Monsieur Bellanger (seller of Delaunay-Belville automobiles) and, more importantly, makes a welcome addition to chain-heavy Upper Street. A trademark interior of polished wood, oil paintings, and gold finishes gives the spacious dining room a bright bistro feel, all designed by Shayne Brady of Brady Williams.

During our pre-opening lunch, we ate from a shortened version of a menu which celebrates the brasseurs (brewers) of Alsace. Expect a selection of French classics (similar to those which have made its siblings Brasserie Zédel and Colbert famous), alongside more Eastern European-leaning dishes: tangy salad râpées was brought up to date with the addition of celeriac and beetroot alongside the typical grated carrot, while beetroot-cured salmon with horseradish was perfect in its simplicity. Other options included a hearty pâté de campagne with fig jam, soupe à la bière (yes, that’s beer soup), or the 1980s favourite, a crayfish, prawn and avocado cocktail. For the main event, grilled chicken paillard was light and will no doubt prove popular among lunchtime diners, while cod à la Grenobloise (lemon, capers and parsley) was surprisingly rich, made more so by a side of creamy spinach. Sharing seems to be encouraged: coq au Reisling and baeckeoffe (beef, pork and lamb braised in Gewürztraminer wine) are offered for two or four people, while there’s a dedicated saucisse selection inviting diners to choose from varieties including Toulouse pork and wild boar with cranberry and venison.

For pudding, expect French classics such as tarte au pommes, Crêpe Suzette à la mode and vanilla crème brûlée. We’d been tipped off to order the tarte flambée, however, which arrives paper-thin on a wooden board, smeared with sticky apple and scattered chards of caramelised nut brittle. We’re told that when Bellanger is fully open, these will be available with savoury toppings such as goats’ cheese or bacon: basically the perfect accompaniment to a glass of wine at the bar. We have every confidence that classy Bellanger will gain a strong reputation in Islington.

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8.1

Food & Drink: 8.3

Service: 7.9

Atmosphere: 7.7

Value: 7.3

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Lesley T. bronze reviewer 20 April 2017

Bellanger has quickly become a 'go to' destination in Islington for anything from a coffee and croissant to a celebration meal. The staff are unfailingly welcoming and professional, and the food excellent. On this occasion, a friend and I had an evening catch up in a quiet booth over two delicious courses (confit duck and scallops as mains, then a pastry and an ice cream coupe). The lunch time through to 6.30 pm set menu is very good value, although the a la carte can become quite expensive for three courses. But overall highly recommended.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 3.0

Werner B. bronze reviewer 22 November 2016

Booked this restaurant because of good reviews. We came to London to enjoy an anniversary present our kids gave us some time ago and I asked for a nice table. When we arrived we were shown to a booth, wich was opposite a service station. So certainly not the nicest location. The restaurant was mostly empty and therefore lacked atmosphere. We were given menus but were not asked if we wanted to order some drinks while we were studying the menus. After quite some time, the head waiter came and took our order. Wasn't sure if the beef tartare was hand cut or not. My wife ordered a crab, crayfish and avocado salad and it looked like a bowl of mush. Food was just delivered without any courtesy, no Bon appetite or similar. We didn't feel like spending more time there and asked for the bill. Then a nice touch, a plate of petit four arrived, with happy anniversary written in chocolate. It didn't quite make up for an underwhelming dining experience.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Nic V. 23 September 2016

Friendly and professional after theatre experience. Good uncomplicated food, good value, pleasant and efficient service. Excellent addition to Islington. Would recommend

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Lynn W. platinum reviewer 15 May 2016

A lovely welcome and we were swept into the grand salon at the back of this turn of the century-style brasserie. Water, bread and butter arrived promptly, and we studied the menu. There are so many things you want to eat! We started with citrusy and nutty avocado and superfood salad, and perfect English green asparagus with hollandaise, apparently simple but so delicious. Then we had the Coq au Riesling - braised landaise chicken with mushrooms and pearl onions in creamy sauce for two - served in a heavy cast iron cocotte, with sides of luscious buttery, cheesy garlicky pommes aligot and some steamed spinach. This was totally off the chart delicious but probably very bad for you. A sorbet and the rum baba with plenty of extra rum in a little silver jug on the side polished everything off nicely. Service still seems slightly inexperienced, but we were having such a good time we didn't mind. And it was such a pleasant change to be able to sit close to each other on a table for two, where usually one person ends up looking at a blank wall. The booths are arranged here so there are plenty of corner tables, which is so much better for conversation and both of you can see what's going on. Already thinking of going back, just need to round up the friends.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

James J. silver reviewer 24 February 2016

Islington at last has a fine restaurant in one of its prime positions, overlooking the green. The latest outpost of the King and Corbin empire whisks us off to Alsace. The rather tired interior of Brown’s has been overhauled and the deep T-shaped space has been decked out stylishly but subtlely. A few rough edges in the service will no doubt be ironed out as the days go by – the waiter had to come back to check which bottle of wine we’d ordered, and another hadn’t quite gauged that difficult science of appearing to be attentive without being either over-fussy or stand-offish. The menu features all the Franco-German specialities you’d expect – sauerkraut, schnitzel, coq au Riesling, a fine array of sausages and much more. We opted for half a dozen oysters and a prawn, crayfish and avocado cocktail – slightly vinegary but nicely done in a very traditional way. We shared a coq au Riesling (generous quantity for two, and pretty rich - £27) backed up with (very buttery) mashed potatoes and some steamed spinach. We washed it down with a bottle of Corbière (£33) and shared an ice cream with hot-chocolate sauce. Good value (£110 including service – which is apparently managed by the staff), a pleasant setting and service that will soon be immaculate – a splendid addition to Islington’s rather hit-and-miss dining scene.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

tim h. 10 January 2016

Lovely food, faultless service and a beautiful interior, no expense spared with tremendous attention to detail. Will certainly go back again and again!

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 0.0

Simon . 20 December 2015

We tried this as a new restaurant hoping it would be better than the previous option here. Unfortunately the food was not good - a bland main and sides. McDonald's do better fries. Service was average and ww were squeezed in next to another group when the restaurant was pretty empty. A shame - could have been good but wouldn't go back.

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  • Bellanger Upper Room
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On a slightly raised level towards the back of the restaurant, Bellanger's semi-private 'Upper Room' features dark wood panelling, mirrors and soft lighting. 'The Alcove', located towards the front of the restaurant is a more intimate space which seats up to 10. For availability, menus, further information and to book, please email events@bellanger.co.uk.

The Alcove
Capacity: 10
The Upper Room (semi-private)
Capacity: 52

Bellanger is included in the following SquareMeal lists