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27 August 2016
In summary its the sort of food you'd get for the fixed price lunch at many value-end Parisian bistros, for about half the price.
Its a very small restaurant, not without charm but you're very close to your neighbours which might not make it the best choice for a hot day. You get a limited choice- 3 each starters , mains and desserts. the menu changes every day so you won't know till you walk through the door what today will bring. Service is pleasant enough without there seeming time to be positively friendly, but we felt a little slow between courses.
Having read a few reviews we did expect the food to be better. The courses were appropriately sized and certainly nothing was inedible. But nothing of the five different courses we chose today was particularly well flavoured , and its pretty basic stuff . The joue de boeuf we both had was pleasantly soft and gentle but had little flavour , and that typified the meal- decent textures, poorly flavoured. Also, my wife points out that for a restaurant that changes all its dishes every day it might not be too much to expect the menu to reflect the climate. Even if our food had been tastier it would still have been a winter menu served up on a warm August day.
The bill for 3 courses , a bottle of a decent red from the lower end of the list , one coffee and service came to £100. Now that's not a fortune but we did feel that it was expensive for the quality of food we ate and the environment in which we ate it. Given a choice between this and paying maybe £10-£20 (at most) more at say the Boudin Blanc in Shepherd Market, we'd take the latter every time for better choice, a much more comfortable environment, and more flavoursome yet still bistro style food.
Can't see us rushing back I'm afraid. And doesn't this area miss Zucca!
26 September 2014
Such a beautiful restaurant, exceptionally good food and service
10 December 2013
Todays Gallic experience is in the middle of gourmet Bermondsey st. Escape grey, wintry London into a cosy bustling French bistro, Casse Croute. Enter this little gem, tardis fashion and be transported to the Marais district in Paris. There is a real feeling of authenticity here with frou frou curtains in dusty windows, red gingham table clothes, black and white floors, walls plastered with French imagery and a genuine bonhomie. This place was rammed on a thursday evening at 7pm and bijou was a slight understatement. Bookings are essential. The staff are wonderfully jovial and waitresses have that Parisian nonchalance and glamour. The menu comprises of a blackboard of 3 starters, 3 mains and 3 desserts with lots of French favourites. Pumpkin soup came steaming in a white little urn bursting with deep pumpkin flavour. We then had a glorious bowl of coq au vin, rich, meaty with crispy porky chardons and a dollop of buttery heavenly mash. That was a bowl to be licked clean. Other classic dishes include mussels, steak tartare, pate au foie, ratatouille. Prices are very reasonable for good rustic food of this quality and quantity. There is only one loo and you have to queue in the middle of the restaurant which mildly perturbed me. This restaurant is already a success for locals and foodies alike and I am expecting a 2nd hopefully bigger branch preferably with another loo. Casse Croute is a charming addition to London's French cuisine and has a sincerity that Balthazar lacks. Go devour coq au vin now.
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