May 2017

THIS ISN'T a review - more of a top tip, really. Brasserie Zédel - in Sherwood Street just behind London's Piccadilly - is an amazing place for a great value lunch. 

Walk through the small ground floor cafe, down a flight of stairs with a distinctly 1920s feel and into the Grand Salon, a masterpiece in marble and 24 carat gilding, and it feels instantly like a £100 a head top end restaurant. But you can get lunch there for as little as ... wait for it ... £9.75.

You would be hard pushed to find lunch at that price in any of the ubiquitous, private-equity owned high street chains. And it's a good lunch too - a zingy carrottes rapée (a French staple) followed by steak haché, sauce au poivres and frites. The steak haché is great - a  medium-cooked hand made beef burger (without the bun) floating in a rich peppercorn sauce. Even with a couple of beers and coffees, the bill still came to less than I recently paid in a Kent pub - where my meal was late and burned.

The £9.75 lunch is on the Prix Fixe part of the vast a la carte menu, which features some of my favourite French food: boudin noir aux pommes (£15.50), coquilles Saint-Jacques gratinées (£15.50), choucroute aux deus boudins (£17.25) and confit du canard aux lentilles du Puy (£16.00). 

Brasserie Zédel is a Corbin and King restaurant - they're the gentlemen restaurateurs who run The Wolsely on Piccadilly and The Delaunay in Covent Garden, among others. The decision to keep prices low, and quality high, at their vast Brasserie in Piccadilly (220 covers, I read) is a testament to their genius. Go there.