Le Vacherin

French·
££££
·
Silver Award
·
London, W4 5LF ·Website ·Call020 8742 2121

SquareMeal Review of Le Vacherin

Silver Award

“Wonderful modern French food” is the attraction at Le Vacherin, which also wins praise for its “consistently good service” and “warm, intimate, romantic ambience”. The clean lines, authentic trappings and white linen tablecloths lend a Parisian air to this dyed-in-the-wool bistro, which is “great for a celebration” as well as a cosy dinner à deux. Chef Malcolm John’s menu is classic and elegant, from starters of escargots de Bourgogne or seared foie gras with boudin blanc to suprême of sea trout with crayfish and crab bisque or an assiette of duck with preserved cherries. Sharing options including rock oysters, pot au feu or chateaubriand add to the romance, and desserts stay with the classics – think apricot tarte Tatin or crème brûlée with orange madeleines. Also check out the “incredible steak-frites offer”. The wine list favours France, but doesn’t exclude the rest of the world – note the selection of the month.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Cuisines
French
Ambience
Cosy, Fine dining, Quiet conversation, Traditional
Food Occasions
Sunday roast
People
Dates, Romantic, Special occasions, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating

Location for Le Vacherin

76-77 South Parade, London, W4 5LF

020 8742 2121

Website

Opening Times

Mon-Sun 12N-3pm (Sun -4pm) Mon-Sat 6-10.30pm (Fri-Sat -11pm Sun -10pm)

Reviews of Le Vacherin

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9 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
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Value

Anon

Management ruined a birthday meal
03 October 2021  

Went for my birthday meal with my parents and boyfriend. We have never witnessed service like we witnessed at this restaurant. My mums main course arrived which was the lamb and there was a hair wrapped in the broccoli, my mum indicated to the waitress that there was a hair on her plate she said we could get a new dish. Then came back from dropping the dish off in the kitchen to ask my mum if it was her hair, we asked for the manager who then went on to say that their are no women in the kitchen and none which have black hair (two waitresses had black/dark brown hair) The service there after was rude and alluded to the fact we were trying to get a free meal. The manager deducted the service charge and my mums main dish of the bill but it completely ruined the occasion and did not receive a single apology from management, never have I witnessed service like this before let alone in a supposedly award winning restaurant.

The food was lovely before this incident and our waitress was lovely, the manager however was rude, unprofessional and disgusting in his manner and customer service or lack there of. Do not dine here unless you enjoy disrespectful, unapologetic and rude management staff. Some training on the customer is always right maybe required

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Anon

No
22 June 2021  

visited with my partner for his birthday and we both left the restaurant feeling unsettled. What was meant to be the cherry on top of the icing to a lovely day, turned out to be extremely anticlimactic. We would’ve laughed it off if the disillusionment came solely from the food. But absolutely nothing ruins a fine evening like bad etiquette from a waitron.

What makes me really upset is that I can’t shake the feeling that we were subjected to subpar service because I purchased a groupon deal for this event. I wasn’t going to bring it up as I didn’t want to end a lovely date on a low note. It was my partner (who never complains) that commented on how he though the waitress was being rude to us because of the discount.

The brunette waitress who cleared our entrées didn’t ask us once how we found our food. Considering I left about a third of the scallop tartare, an attentive waiter would’ve asked wether there’s a reason for that. It is a well thought out dish with contrasting flavours but the scallops were ultimately not fresh enough and not the standard that one would hope for a Michelin guide restaurant. The usual freshness of the ocean and sweetness of raw scallop was replaced with a faint fishiness that comes distinctively from seafood that is not fresh. I would expect the produce in a restaurant to be as good if not better than the quality that I source from the markets. It is 4am and my stomach is still bubbling.

Nothing really stood out for him from the set menu so he decided to have a look at the a la carte desserts for a better option and found a lemon soufflé. He asked for attention and was met by a patronising voice shouting “wait a second, I’m still putting your order in”. The friendlier waitress came to us as it was apparent that we wanted to change something from the order we’ve made a second ago. There was a price difference in the desserts and it goes without saying that we are willing to pay extra or whatever requested. When she informed her colleague about the swap she began to shout really loudly that she could not do that because we paid for a groupon deal and the soufflé was much more expensive. We heard the whole conversation even though they were a whole corridor down because of how hysterical she was being. We began to get more and more uncomfortable.

She then told us that the menu was “specifically put together for the groupon discount” and nothing could be changed because it would be more expensive. As far as I know the prix fixe menu exists for £33p/p anyway and it’s not some special groupon menu. The deal simply adds a discount and offers a bubbly + hot drink (which we didn’t get). She said we could have the soufflé “only at full price” and I explained that I was happy to pay more for the swap only to hear her repeat about the groupon deal. Considering I’m not asking for free cake, it would’ve been nice of her to ask the manger to accommodate a small birthday request. I don’t mind paying “full price” as she kept saying. The conversation ended with “can I cross out the soufflé then?”.

While waiting for the cake, I asked the other lady for the evening menu and the brunette caused a scene and said we ordered from the groupon menu and we could only order from that list. She thought we wanted to change something again but I simply wanted to check out their evening menu. By this point we were both really angry and upset.

To make matters worse they gave the birthday cake to the wrong person (I made a note and called the restaurant beforehand). The mille feuille we both ordered was disgusting and worse than pub food quality. What was supposed to be a beautifully buttery pastry was replaced with a stale and vegetable oil tasting cracker. I haven’t complained once about the food until this point but really had to ask the waitress how the pastry was made. To my disgust but not surprise she told me that the chefs couldn’t tell us as the sheets were store brought. I left more than half of the cake, no one commented and just took the plate away. I’ve never left a restaurant feeling so cheated and sad.

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Anon

Disappointing experience
01 October 2020  

The service was slow and so inattentive. The food was mediocre and inedible. They served us rock stake bread. Our starter after an hour and main course which was inedible. The manager wasn't interested and when informed about our complaints, he did not acknowledge us, let alone apologising. Very disappointing experience 

Valerie M

A great find
03 March 2019  

We were both very impressed with Le Vacherin - the food was absolutely nop notch and the service was very professional, if slightly more formal than I prefer, but that wasn't a problem.

Actually the prices were the biggest surprise for me, giving the quality of the food and wine - I thought the bill at the end was extremely reasonable.

Sadly, this restaurant is a little out of our way for frequent visits, but we will definitely go when we are in the area.

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Anon

09 June 2016  
Consistently good quality and good service. Warm, intimate, romantic ambience. Great for a celebration, but they also have an incredible steak frites offer Sunday through Thursday. The cut of steak is delicious and the offer includes a glass of red wine.

Graham M

First time at Le Vacherin
16 February 2015  
For a first visit this was a very important find. I know it's been here for a long time so has a loyal following and they must be right because it's very good. The chef certainly know what he's doing. The hake was perfect and the vegetables were cooked to perfection. The deserts are simply superb. If you're not into French food check the menu first as there maybe items which you're not sure about so it could be a challenge when first handed the menu. Otherwise highly recommended.
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David H

19 April 2014  
We've had just moderate luck these last few weeks in trying new restaurants, but rather than retreat to a “tried and trusted”, we decided on a different tack. Pick an area where we'd like to go for a walk, and search on Square Meal to find something with a Square Meal star, or maybe two, that we could incorporate into our walk. We came across Le Vacherin and booked it for our first visit this lunchtime. We parked a mile or so away, walking past Trompette on the way, and almost convinced ourselves that we'd made a mistake, for their menu looked delicious and it was a real test of resolve not to dive in there and ask if they could take us. However we walked into Vacherin at the allotted time. Its a long time since I had a lunch comprising a dozen escargots and a steak au poivre with frites , but that's what I had today, and it made me think I'd slipped back maybe thirty years to a time when most French restaurants were just like this. My wife's wild garlic veloute ( really delicious) and corn-fed chicken in a bourguignon sauce (was this actually coq au vin?) were perhaps a little less retro than my selections. I enjoyed both my courses in the way we enjoyed food years ago- nothing clever; no ingredients we hadn't heard of, nothing on small plates and certainly nothing from Peru. For this is a bistro, and it survives by serving traditional,tasty food predictably and well. Even the bread – sourced from an artisan bakery they said, was a revelation, and they served anchovy butter which I hadn't seen since Chez Gerard died on us. The place itself looks the part with lots of mirrors and crisp white tablecloths , with wait-staff in black & white uniforms and full of “sirs” and “madams” in an era when in most suburban restaurants the staff are very casual and call you “guys”. And the cooking here is good. Its actually quite difficult to find food like this nowadays, and that's a pity because its both decent and contributes to the variety we need to keep us enjoying eating out. My wife's veloute and my steak probably took the honours here but it was all good. As was the bottle of a south-western French Syrah, light enough for lunch and good value too. If you like this but you're in central London, then Boudin Blanc in Shepherd Market is comparable. All told our bill with service came to just over £80 with two courses , a couple of sides, the wine and coffee. Pretty decent value we thought , reflecting on the way out that we'd had a thoroughly pleasant lunch and we'll certainly eat at Le Vacherin again.
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Colin S

11 March 2014  
Superbly flavourful,overtones of dining in serious Paris AND consistantly good! Nuff said.
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Marco C

Simply France at its best
13 July 2013  
Hands down my favourite restaurant in Chiswick. Food is always 10/10, faultless classic French cooking with some innovative twists. Fabulous steaks and fish dishes. My wife is obsessed with the snails! Puddings are incredible, espeically the souffle and creme brulee. Service is warm and friendly but incredibly efficient, they are always one step ahead of you. There's nothing nicer than a beautiful lunch at Le Vacherin on a sunny day, sitting in the window overlooking Acton Green. We love it for family get-togethers but also for romantic dinners a deux. I feel very lucky to have this as my local restaurant!
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