Monday 28 April 2014

une belle nuit à brasserie zédel

If you have ever fancied dining inside a beautiful box of Ladurée macarons then Brasserie Zédel is for you. A French fancy of a fooderie, it's a beautiful gilt edged 'grand Budapestesque' place where the service is chic and the cuisine is cheap. Oui, c'est vrai - you can get 3 courses for a snippidy snip of a song at £11.75! Incroyable.

zedel staff photo
We visited for midweek supper on a Thursday soir, and were thoroughly impressed. Dapper smiling doormen ushered us through grand doors bearing a giant Z and L (get it?) through the tiled cafe front area (great for morning coffee), via the giant cruise ship chandelier and into l'ascenseur, down into the belly of la bête. We half expected Wes Anderson's Zero to be lobby boy and pop up with his funny little fez on. It felt like stepping back in time. A luxurious pale pink and gold marbled dining room with grand piano awaited us, immediately conjuring up memories of the Wolesley's famous Art Deco open plan design - unsurprising as Zédel is the child of Corbin & King, the guys behind said institution as well as the Delaunay (still on my unwieldly 'to do' list).
inside zedel
Affordable, impeccably cooked French dining in pretty as a picture surroundings is hard to find in London, let alone two minutes walk from Piccadilly Circus tube station. But Zédel has nailed it. Boeuf bourguignon at under a tenner was rich and lipsmackingly good, with moreish creamy mash. A perfectly sized portion. Shoulder of lamb with dauphinois potatoes was also a dream Thursday night special, which change daily.
The prix fixe menu is clearly the hero choice and one worth returning for - carrot salad, chopped steak and a choice of dessert for just shy of a dozen British pounds will never get old. And the first class bread and butter deserves a special mention too, a true mark of quality in my book and a touch no discerning Frenchie would leave unnoticed.
I wanted to try the fromage but opted for kitsch île flottante instead, a dessert I hadn't had since France 2007.. Oh my. Almost too cute to eat, drizzled in caramel and scattered with what I think must have been gorgeous baby pink pralines, floating in a custardy sea of delight. My lasting memory of watery oversweet crème anglais was blown away by this proper stuff dished up in totally vintage dainty bowls.


Service was cracking and front of house keen to meet & greet as if we were honoured guests. I pretty much can't fault them. I didn't want to leave. We didn't have time to check out the sleek Bar Americain or Crazy Coqs cabaret, but rest assured ZL, we shall be back tout de suite...
zed's not dead