Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Bloody French

149 Westbourne Grove,
London W11 2RS

020 7727 7770

Cute attention grabbing titles invite similar responses: it wasn't bloody good enough. The best bits first: bread without asking for it for no charge, no 'discretionary' service charge and a BYOB with no corkage charge Sunday through Tuesday. The bad bits: the food. The restaurant was also ominously empty, though to be fair it was early on a Monday.

We shared Terrine de Foie Gras Maison, Chutney et Brioche £9.90 as a starter. It clearly came from a can and was not therefore a Foie Gras 'Maison' made on site from the liver as in this recipe from Sofeminine. The Chutney had a strong fruity flavour, the canned terrine the right consistency. The brioche was ok. Then for me things started to go seriously downhill. I had Lamb Shank Boulgur and Vegetables £14.50. The Lamb Shank was too dry and just didn't have that melting flakiness it should have if it has been properly slow cooked. It tasted as though it had been cooked too fast and then reheated. The vegetables in a little separate blue dish (courgettes, tomatoes etc) were cold. My companion had Duck Breast, Dauphinois and Wine and Honey Sauce. We had been told it would be cooked rare. It was overcooked. It was nevertheless crispy, good. I tried a bit. She liked it.

Bloody French tries at the whole Gallic bit: menus on blackboards (the menu is £22.90 for three courses but with lots of supplements for individual more expensive courses, and what is it with these .90s...tiresome pricing), an open fire, long communal table (its attractive with big windows looking out on Westbourne Grove), but for me the food just isn't nearly good enough. The 'bloody french' themselves can do much better than this at the most ordinary Paris bistro.

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