Bistro Mirey is a genuine original in this cheerfully unfashionable part of Fulham, where Lillie Road meets North End Road. It’s a French bistro with Japanese influences, reflecting the backgrounds of classically trained chef Gerald Mirey and his partner Ko Ito, who provides financial nous and charming front of house.
This surprising but successful combination has become much loved by the locals, drawn by excellent cooking and a great atmosphere. There are wine and saké tastings with a saké master, tricolour-waving celebrations for Bastille Day, and supper clubs with informal Japanese lessons and a quiz. The menu interprets bistro classics through a subtle Japanese prism. The signature steak tartare uses knife-cut Charolais beef, with ginger, carrots, black sesame seeds, chilli and soy sauce, plus a few edamame beans adding colour and crunch. A summer menu may have watermelon marinated in Roku gin and served with feta, cucumber and candied hazelnuts. There’s a fine pork cutlet too, served teriyaki-style, but as this area is west London’s vegetarian-central, you’ll also find plenty of vegan and gluten-free dishes such as bonsai garden vegetables with wasabi pea purée.
French cooking dominates for puddings and cheese, while the drinks list reflects Gerald’s native Normandy, with cider, beer and Calvados appearing alongside French wines and Champagnes. But don’t miss the fascinating list of sakés and saké-based cocktails, which comes with clear explanations for beginners.