After shutting its doors in November 2020 due to the pandemic, the neon signs outside Langan’s Brasserie have finally flickered back to life. The iconic restaurant and bar, initially set up by co-founders Peter Langan and Michael Caine in the 70s, was once a paparazzi-lined haunt frequented by celebrities and royalty. Now, after a total refurbishment, everyone’s dying to know if Langan’s still lays claim to the old-school glamour and notoriety that gave it its legendary status.
Everything about Langan’s feels a little bit retro, from a playlist of groovy 80s tracks to its 20th-century décor and old French-style menu. Even the staff play a part in the throwback, as we were shown to our table by a waiter dressed in a white suit - a homage to Langan himself. The truth is, the restaurant’s sense of charm, fun and fabulousness are as intact as ever.
From the menu, many of its signature dishes are designed to be shared and served (if mostly to add a touch of theatre) at the table. ‘Langan’s fish pie for 2’ was a luxurious example of everything a fish pie should be – not stingy on the fruits de mer, topped with a butter-enriched layer of piped mashed potato, then baked until a thick, golden crust forms. We ordered the apple tarte tatin (again, for two) on recommendation by our waitress, who sliced the sticky, copper-coloured tart in half in front of us (lest us diners should lift a finger). Flaky, puff pastry indented with plump, caramel-covered apple slices and topped with boozy cream – we polished off the lot.
Our wine pairing was, again, expertly recommended by staff, and we’d suggest starting with a flute of champagne for the ultimate Langan’s experience (careful, though, the Dom Perignon is £68 by the glass). Prices vary dramatically depending on what you order, but you’re looking at up to 20 quid for a starter and £30-40 for a main. We are in the heart of Mayfair though. C’est la vie.