All reader reviews by Sian

Le P'tit Normand

I'm embarrassed to say it's taken me over 5 years of living round the corner from Le Pet't Normand for me to actually make it for dinner. I've always known of its strong reputation for cooking but the look and feel of the place has put me off. How superficial of me. My loss.

We had a great dinner - wine was lovely and very reasonably priced (good Muscadet for £16), main courses were really exceptional - lamb and steak perfectly cooked with great dauphinoise, and again at very fair price. It was a Tuesday and I think our starter and pudding suffered (only slightly) from the lower number of customers that night, meaning food was pre-prepared. The starter was only warm but did taste fantastic once we had a hot one, and the pudding was made by the waiter as the chef had left for the evening. Not to say it wasn't lovely, but I'd prefer the dish to have been cooked fresh to order.

All in all I'll be there very soon again. Very well prepared, very French cuisine, and very good price. Glad it's round the corner from me...!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 8 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 10

Chez Bruce

Three years since my last visit I was really excited to be going to Chez Bruce again. But unfortunately it was a little disappointing. Perhaps the quality of food in London has improved overall but my expectations were very high - in keeping with the numerous times I'd eaten there before.

The booking system is now very inflexible meaning either very early or rather late tables only which is a shame, but anyway, it was Friday so no early start next day.

I felt the food was a pretty unimaginative - starters of foie gras and gaspacho were prepared very, very well but without much to set them aside from many other restaurants. Mains of lamb and cod seemed rather skimped in quantity but besides that, both were disappointingly tepid. The maitre d' kindly took off the service charge for this... you mean the 'optional' service charge?.... how generous.

Dessert of chocolate soufle and milk ice cream very good in itself but it's on the menu everywhere right now. This was different in that it had been faffed with through the addition of an entirely superfluouse strong caramel and honeycomb sauce. Cheese excellent.

So all in all not the impressive meal I'd hoped when introducing someone to the restaurant I've banged on and on about for a long time. Perhaps it was an off night. I hope so.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 6 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 5

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