Review: Brasserie Blanc Fulham’s Christmas menu is classic and unpretentious in beautiful surroundings
Little wonder the interior at Fulham’s Brasserie Blanc has won design awards. It feels like a ship: you stroll in from the riverside, and are met with great curved banks of seating, ornate lighting and beautiful rounded windows.
But of course the food offer has to live up to such impressive surroundings, which are all the more welcoming on a dark and blowy late-November evening.
We paid a visit to the Fulham branch of this Raymond Blanc inspired chain to sample the Christmas menu, three courses with coffee to finish, priced at £39.50. We also had a glass of creamy and delicious blanc de blancs with olives and bread to start as we pored over the set menu.
The options for starters were sweetcorn soup, smoked griddled salmon, terrine, potted shrimps and a vegetable fritter. All sounded delicious, and included a vegetarian and vegan option. My choice of sweetcorn soup was just the right balance of sweet and silky soup, crunchy morsels of corn and a warming swirl of chilli oil to whet my appetite for the meal ahead. The griddled salmon was served with lovely crisp pickled veg and a dill yogurt sauce which perfectly complemented the dish.
The selection of mains was again seasonal and varied. For our vegan and vegetarian friends, as so often I’ve seen, it was a variation on the ubiquitous mushroom risotto, but as a meat eater I plumped for the duck cassoulet. And it was everything a warming wintery, festive dish should be: rich, flavoursome, and made me keep going back for more long after I was full. Crispy skin peeking out the top of the dish, succulent duck flesh and melting, warming beans made this a dish I’ll be trying to recreate for months to come.
My dining mate’s turkey came with all the trimmings including potatoes and sprouts ‘for the table’. I only wanted to leave room for more and more duck, and don’t like sprouts (so sue me) so must say I left these well alone, but they were apparently a good accompaniment to his meat, bread sauce, cranberry et al.
We also enjoyed a delicious glass of Picpoul with first course and a full bodied and wonderful Argentinian Malbec to go with the mains, paired for us by our attentive, informed and friendly waiter.
We hesitated more than a fraction over the choice for desserts which included a bread and butter pudding, a crumble, a chocolate cup and a raspberry coupe. Knowing I couldn’t face the first two after all I’d already eaten, I opted for the raspberry coupe in which tart berries mingled with cool creaminess and created a perfect end to the meal.
One of my favourite things about the evening was the matt porcelain the coffee was served in. Its unpretentious, classic appearance reflected everything about our evening at this straightforward, comfortable and well-thought-out restaurant.