EAT - DRINK - BE MERRY
CHEZ BRUCE NOVEMBER 2009
The problem with Chez Bruce is that itís so unassuming. It doesnít have a testosterone fuelled celebrity chef, itís not in Mayfair and it doesnít sing and dance about its Michelin Star. But really thatís the only problem, on every other level itís wonderful.
Itís in Wandsworth, now Iím no expert on London, so Iíve no idea if this is good or not, but She tells me that Wandsworth is very Ďnowí. In fact She tells me that Sophie Dahl has just moved there (where She gets this info from I have no idea). So if ever thereís a reason for going to a restaurant in Wandsworth itís the off chance of getting a glimpse of Sophie Dahl. Sadly there was no Sophie, but what I did get was a woman walking along in her tights and pants with no skirt. She also told me that this is very Ďnowí at the moment too, Kate Moss did it only last week. While weíre on cleb watch Marcus Brigstocke walked past the window as we sat down, She was in raptures. Lifeís not fair, She gets Giles Wemmley Hogg and I get a rough bird with no skirt.
Itís a compact restaurant, but despite this it has been doing terrific business since 1995, and before that as Harveyís when Marc-Pierre White was had chef. We were there on a Thursday lunchtime which meant we got the three course a la carte option (£25.50), but a good selection with at least eight choices for each course.
For starters I had the foie gras and chicken liver parfait which worked really well with toasted brioche, it was rich and intense. She went for the braised venison with spštzle, which was delicate but rich. For mains She had pheasant with ravioli, it was very mushroomy. Mine was a choucroute of fish, choucroute being a dressed sauerkraut, the acidity of which worked really well with the salmon, plaice and sea bass, which was then topped with little brown shrimp.
The wine list was a big piece of work, we opted for a Rhone Viognier which went well with the mains, it was slightly aromatic with hints of melon which didnít overpower the fish or the pheasant, but it held itís own.
I was then confronted with the long running cheeseboard dilemma it took all of my effort to opt instead for a pudding. I do like a nice pear and I do like a nice tart, so pear tart it was. She had a lime mousse with a citrus fruit salad, the touch of genius here was the addition of mint which off set the sourness of the lime really well. And with the puds a half bottle of effervescent moscato díAsti, just in case we hadnít spent enough.
So back out to the mean streets of Wandsworth, to face the tall posh comedians and girls in their tights, this is possibly why Chez Bruce seems so understated.