The only reason to foolishly undertake a marathon is surely to enjoy nice food in its aftermath completely guilt free. Having ‘won’ the ballot to ‘run’ the London marathon, I planned a manageable training programme which of course I didn’t follow. So, at mile 16.5 when the going got very tough, the only thing that kept me going (along with the support), was the celebratory dinner I had planned at Brasserie Chavot.
Brasserie Chavot has received substantial praise since it opened. The plaudits have been merited; and having dined there on a recent Saturday night, I considered it to be an excellent option for dining post-marathon primarily because of the food, but also because the red leather seats would be comfortable enough to soothe my weary body.
At first sight the Brasserie is a little piece of France plonked into Conduit Street. Tables for couples’ or parties of four line one wall divided by cream lamps; whilst in the centre are larger round tables for bigger groups. The red leather is contrasted with a cream hue on the walls; grand chandeliers hang from the ceiling permeating a low lighting. There is a lovely symmetry to the venue and aesthetically the venue is pleasing as are the herbs found dotted at the front window – a nice touch. The aesthetics of the building are matched by the friendliness of the staff.
But I suppose at some stage I should refer to the food. Starters comprised of ceviche of scallops, sardines escabeche, and home-cured salmon with a gravlax dressing. Baked sourdough was required to mop up the vinaigrette that accompanied the scallops and the gravlax dressing that accompanied the salmon. Each excelled.
For our mains, we had venison, duck, and tiger prawns, with sides of pommes frites and creamy mashed potato. The venison, medium rare was served with honey glazed root vegetables on a bed of cabbage coated in butter. The rump of venison excelled; a fine piece of meat indeed. The tiger prawn was presented on a bed of chickpeas and chorizo and was very tasty indeed. The duck looked the part, however my friend had it demolished before I could taste. This was sad for me. The fries were liberally salted, as any good fries are. I would go so far as to say they may be the best fries I’ve enjoyed in London and the portion is big so plenty to go round.
There was of course time for dessert. I had the crème brulee, same as my last visit; whilst the others had some chocolate concoction covered in cream. I was too focused on the crème brulee and the pain emanating from my legs to pay any attention to the other dessert but I was duly informed that it was very nice.
The bill, all in for 3 people and 12.5% service amounted to £202. This included a bottle of champagne, 3 course and coffees. The food, service, and décor all made it very much worthwhile. I shall return, this time without my medal.