One of the culinary highlights of our London trip was the lunch at Chez Bruce, a Michelin 1 star restaurant situated in the suburb of Wandsworth Common. After painstakingly mapping out our way to the restaurant the night before, we headed out for lunch in eager anticipation of a wonderful meal ahead.
It took us a short train ride to the beautiful town of Wandsworth Common, and we easily found the restaurant close to the train station. We were at first a bit intimated by the courteous but prim waiters serving at hand and thus failed to get pictures of our appetizers and bread, but we soon relaxed into the lazy weekday afternoon atmosphere and our food blogging palate got the better of us. The restaurant looked out on bright open views of a large green field and for the first time since we arrived, we caught a glimpse of the warm May London sun. On this particular weekday late afternoon, the restaurant was half filled with locals and eager foodies alike, many of whom, like us, had travelled a long journey for this much anticipated meal.
I really liked the tomato flavoured thin crips they served us once we got seated, it was very refreshing for us tired travellers and we soon kicked into perusing the set lunch menu and wine list. We both settled for a three course set lunch that turned out to be an excellent bargain for the very reasonable price we paid. For the appetizer, I had the Salmon tartare with oyster, herb and grapefruit vinagerette, avocado and creme fraiche. It was a beautiful spring delight, with the delicate portions of salmon and baby oysters resting peacefully on a lightly tossed herb salad, the mild acidity of the grapefruit was well complemented by the light cream and avocado. Black Bear tried the Foie gras and chicken liver parfait with toasted brioche which was equally as delicious. The generous serving of pate was savory and smooth to the tongue and we greedily spread it over the brioche and bread from the basket.
For the mains, I was very satisfied with my choice of Lamb breast tagine with rump, kaffa, glazed aubergine, apricot and coriander. In short, it is a dish of lamb cooked three ways. The lamb breast was roasted to perfection, its flesh was pink and succulent and the lamb kebab was rich and flavourful. I am a fan of eggplant and I found the glazed aubergine very delicious with the dollop of sour cream atop.
Black Bear had Duck magret with wild mushrooms, baby gem lettuce, stuffed onion and peas and he said it was probably the best duck dish he had ever tasted in his life. The duck was tender and juicy and the sides of stuffed onion and lightly roasted potatoes soaked up the rich juices of the duck and gravy perfectly.
We were already very full by this time but how could we relish the chance of tasting the beautiful desserts? The Hot chocolate pudding with praline parfait was a rich and decadent feast for the tastebuds, the dark chocolate was a bittersweet goodness and the warm chocolate sauce contrasted with the icy coolness of the smooth praline parfait. Black bear’s dessert was just as mouthwatering, the Hazelnut dacquoise with marsala parfait, coffee ganache and mascarpone was so beautiful to look at and the deep nutty flavors of hazelnut base blended perfectly with the lightly flavoured coffee ganache.
After a cup of coffee, we ventured out into the beautiful grassy field outside the restaurant for a leisurely afternoon stroll. The warm sunlight of May was a welcoming joy given the gloomy weather in the previous days. Without the cumbersome umbrellas, we could better explore this lovely garden with our camera. Young children and their mothers fed young ducklings in a small lake inside the garden. The light chilly breeze brought with it the sweet fragrance of the spring blossom, the land was green and fresh and we were just so glad to be away from the busy hustle and bustle of city life for a short while.
It was a lovely afternoon, after walking through most of the paths and bridges, we trudged back to the train station for yet another train ride back into the city centre, for more sightseeing.