Chez Bruce 4444

2 Bellevue Road , London, SW17 7EG

020 8672 0114

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SquareMeal Review of Chez Bruce

Squaremeal London Hot 100 2016 “Brilliant”, “exceptional” and “fantastic” are just a few of the superlatives showered on the Michelin-starred mother of all neighbourhood restaurants, an enduring fixture that “never lets you down”. We agree with the plaudits. This place has real polish and Bruce Poole’s kitchen is right on the money, delivering “beautifully crafted plates of vibrant and colourful food” in the modern European tradition. A starter of warm Jerusalem artichoke salad dressed with melted Comté cheese, Roscoff onions, bitter leaves and pecan nuts hints at complexity, though most mains are essentially quite simple – think cuttlefish risotto with king prawns, poached fennel, chilli and parsley or poached short-rib of beef served with a vegetable broth, tortellini and a spicy kick of chimichurri. To conclude, desserts shine brightly in the shape of, say, buttermilk pudding with warm madeleines and fresh mirabelle plums or a reborn rum baba with crème Chantilly and pineapple, while the stupendous cheeseboard is worth ordering for the “accompanying commentary” alone. Some might argue that Chez Bruce is a 90s throwback, but there should always be a place for gutsy Euro-accented haute cuisine and exemplary wine service at “south-west” prices.

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5.3

Food & Drink: 6.1

Service: 6.5

Atmosphere: 6.6

Value: 5.2

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 3.0

David F. 19 July 2017

Chez Bruce is our local restaurant and we are lucky enough to visit it quite often. We know it always gets rave reviews but we have had mixed experiences over the years, including this latest one. The room is now extremely cramped as they seem to want to get in an ever increasing number of tables and when we visited for lunch it was very hot. So much so that we moved tables from the back to near the door to a very cramped table. We were left quite a long time before anyone came to give us menus and take our order but as soon as the food started arriving the service was very good. We had the lobster ravioli which was delicious. However it always annoys us having to pay a supplement on a fixed price menu. By the same token if we had the gazpacho soup starter shouldn't we get a refund as the ingredients cost virtually nothing?! Our main courses were a huge disappointment. The veal and the crispy sea bream were bland and uninteresting. The veal was a bit flabby and the sea bream was definitely not crispy. Our puddings were much better. The almond tart and the poached strawberries were excellent. We frequently have a bottle of the French Vermentino, which at £24.50 a bottle is excellent value. Our bill was £144 with service, which for a set lunch with a cheap bottle of wine, a glass of Sauternes and a bottle of sparkling water was for us on the upper limit of acceptable. We always want our visits to Chez Bruce to be a success as it is a lovely restaurant but we have now been disappointed often enough to be a bit wary of returns. Maybe a victim of it's own success?

Food & Drink: 0.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 0.0

Value: 0.0

mike r. 12 May 2017

avoid

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Bill P. bronze reviewer 08 July 2014

Haven't been here for ages, before they extended For some reason was expecting to be disappointed, wasn't my choice, and for it to be a bit suburban and resting on its laurels, especially reading some of the recent reviews. What a nice surprise, the place felt roomy, fresh and certainly not suburban, food spot on and wine list accommodating and still the fabulous cheese trolley. Nothing to complain about here and will definitely return…

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 2.0

Fran D. 12 April 2013

Have now had a few disappointing trips to CB and will not be returning (after having been a customer for a good 10 years) – the time before last, my main course (cod with olive oil mash) was incredibly salty so had to go back and my husband was left eating on his own while I waited for it to reappear, and when it did I was told that the chef said it was fine – which it really wasn't. What happened to the customer is always right…? Admittedly they gave us a couple of extras later to try to make up for it but it did spoil the meal. Last time (a week ago) I had the foie gras starter, John Dory main and cheese felt ill the next day. Several days later, there has still been no response from the restaurant to our email telling them about this – not great particularly given the cost of the meal (despite the set price you can really whack up the bill with aperitifs, wine choice and the dreaded “supplements” as mentioned below). I must say on the positive side that the service was excellent, but overall I would also agree that the quality of the food, while still good, is not “outstanding” as it used to be prior to the restaurant's expansion. Next time, I will be going to Trinity in Clapham!

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

squaremale silver reviewer 10 January 2013

Had a very nice meal here recently. I hadn't been for a while and had been a little under-whelmed on previous occasions, but really enjoyed it this time. I do think the service can be a bit fussy and dry, and sometimes a bit patronising, but it's certainly efficient. The food was lovely throughout, including a good cheese board, with my only small gripe being that I think the portion sizes are too small, especially at the price. The wine list is interesting and sort of has some reasonably priced bottles if you look carefully, but the mark-ups are really quite high for a restaurant in Wandsworth – food and drink are central London prices but I doubt the rent is.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Dinz bronze reviewer 18 November 2012

Overall: very impressive service and experience. Went here for a birthday and was blown away by the way the staff pay such great attention to detail. The restaurant is located on a moderately busy road opposite a common. There's a few parking spaces outside and in nearby roads. I wouldn't advise getting there too early as there's no waiting area.. In winter this can be annoying. We went to the pub on the corner while we waited for our booking slot. Food and drink: flawless. The menu is created daily and unique to Chez Bruce. There's a ridiculous array of wines to choose from… Something for everyone regardless of your pallet. The food menu is rich with seafood and some exotic meats with a European twist. I had duck and duck heart for starters, chicken for the main, and a ginger and ice cream desert. Service: staff very knowledgable on wines and different foods. I'd expect no less from a Michelin starred diner, however CB carry out their service with such subtlety it adds to the dining experience. Atmosphere: good, not too noisy (which is important to note as the tables are just about spaced out enough). Would definitely go again.. Although be warned a bill for 4 wouldn't be far off £300 in total.

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 2.0

Simon L. 15 October 2012

For a restaurant that has a good reputation, its owner Chef is not a very nice person to people that had had issues with their meal. It is an expensive place to dine (not as expensive as someplaces in London of course) so this arrogance is unbelievable. I went last Saturday for the 6th, and now last time. I wrote an email to Chez Bruce saying somethings that had made our 6th visit a very ordinary one and at £457 for the 6 of us, an expensive one. My comments included :- - I thought the waiters (who did not smile all evening) where trying to up the bills by constantly topping up glasses, even when they didn't need topping up. Annoying with white wine that gets warm if drunk slowly, a few of our group were new mums and did not want to get drunk, we had to ask twice for them to stop topping up glasses - paying £3.95 for a bottle of still water. Did the Evening Standard campaign do nothing for this rip off ? -the number of dishes that had an extra £5/£6 to add on top of the £45 menu. A sly way to up the spend - a glass of wine at nearly £8 was a rip off (and that is about the cheapest glass!) As for the food, well it was nice, but nothing amazing. I would not recommend the chocolate pudding as its very rich. The personal response I had from Bruce said :- “It only remains to state that I don’t warm to the accusation of ripping off customers and this practice is not how we have built our reputation as one of London’s better value Michelin-starred restaurants. Given that this is what you evidently believe, the news that you have eaten your last meal at Chez Bruce will no doubt be a relief to us both.” I will follow his advice and now give this place a miss, it wont be missed with all the great places now in London

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 1.0

Max d. 22 June 2012

I had been once before at “Chez Bruce” and the whole episode had been satisfactory enough to justify returning for a second time. What a disaster!! To start with, there was a different manager and to start with, the whole staff was rather full of itself, on the verge of condescending, to the exception of the chinese sommelier who was totally charming and courteous. To complete the “experience” ‘both the starters were vastly over salted, thus killing any taste that the crab could have had. I ended up eating my starters of crab etc…(£5.00 extra on the £45.00 per head menu)… on my bread plate!! Then the lobster (£12.00 extra on the same menu) arrived. It was so overcooked that the whole flesh was just a magma reminiscent, both in appearance and in taste of soggy cardboard. The french fries were carbonated and only the salad was rather pleasant. The manager then decided not to charge me for my food at all, making it very clear that he would rather not see me again in his premises. When I left £50.00 tip on the table, to compensate for the reduction on the bill, the manager told me that …"he did not want my money"!! I told him that it was for his staff and not for him which he did not seem to appreciate. As a whole, a disastrous evening in a restaurant that obviously lives on its past glory! NEVER AGAIN.

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 1.0

Philip H. 22 June 2012

Unfortunately this wins the award for the worst Michelin starred restaurant I have eaten in. Food quality was competent but not Michelin star standard and portions were miserly. The waiter had zero interpersonal skills and we could not attract his attention. Not sure whether this was shyness or a house style of being a trifle condescending. Nothing positive to say about the atmosphere, hard wooden chairs and a temperature that ensured my jacket remained on were negatives. Bruce's attitude to our dissatisfaction revealed an arrogance which I do not find justified by the product and service his restaurant delivers.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Keith R. 20 July 2011

The level of service has certainly dropped across the last year – having been a massive fan of the place for years… Perhaps getting a little too complacent, which is understandable given the demand for tables, but dangerous never the less. Listen to your customers a bit more Mr Bruce.

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Room for 16 people
Capacity: 16