‘Brasseries are the Can Can. For sure, this is not a place for refined haute cuisine and three course meals. [It] is a place for relaxed enjoyment…offer[ing] you simple, high quality food…The real origins of French brasseries are lost in time and probably in several litres of beer but nowadays in France they are the bastions of good eating and drinking, locally and informally.’
I (grossly) paraphrase here one Frenchman, perhaps presently more famous among the general public than ever before. Who else followed BBC2’s The Restaurant? Exactement, I refer to Raymond Blanc, whose show has recently concluded rather conveniently – lucky that – just in time to allow Monsieur Blanc to set off on a promotional tour for his new book, in addition to picking up an OBE from her Majesty for the ‘proud’ work he has done for ‘British palates.’
OK, let us forget about Raymond for a moment and refocus on brasseries. This week I decided to lunch at Le Bouchon Breton, the new Spitalfields restaurant, set up by Nicolas Laridan, Francois Betrand and Ian Stoppani; the first was head chef at Le Gavroche, the second, its chef-sommelier and the third, a former-stockbroker-now-restaurateur (It seems like last week’s memorable meal at Le Gavroche is still eating away at my subconscious). Oh, did I mention that Michel Roux Jr. is the consultant behind this venture? Well, he is.
Continue reading ‘Le Bouchon Breton, London’