Welcome to The London Foodie
Reviews of London's Restaurants, Supper Clubs and Hotels, Wine Tastings, Travel Writing, and Home to the Japanese and French Supper Clubs in Islington
For the latest food events, restaurant openings, product launches and other food and drink related news, visit the sister site The London Foodie News
Monday, 9 July 2012
Hélène Darroze is a two-Michelin starred chef from Landes, South West France, famous for her outstanding restaurant at The Connaught Hotel. The hotel dates from the late 19th century, and is an elegant 5 star affair in a beautiful location in London's Mayfair.
In recent months, Hélène has been running a sumptuous brunch on Saturday mornings. The brunch has been attracting an increasing number of loyal diners - from entire families to couples, shoppers and visitors, this is a perfect place to kick off your weekend in style.
The restaurant, Edwardian in design, has dark wood panelling, plush carpet and refined upholstery. While our table was being prepared, we headed for the bar to enjoy a glass of Ruinart Rosé Champagne, which got things off to an excellent start.
The brunch menu is priced at £55 per person (children £39). The menu includes an open buffet of starters, a choice of an a la Carte main course, a fantastic cheeseboard and an open buffet for dessert including waffles made to order. It is literally impossible to sample everything on offer, and for £55 for food of this quality, I believe this to be excellent value.
While all the items on the starter buffet are available, we were pacing ourselves and opted to start with a medley of charcuterie, chicken & truffle terrine, spiced foie gras terrine, pork & pistachio terrine, a fantastic 3-coloured beetroot salad (candy, ruby and golden) with the creamiest buffalo mozzarella I have ever eaten, creamy scrambled eggs, an assortment of freshly baked bread and the Connaught's own churned butter. The starters were excellent and generous, and I was impressed by the routine use of the very finest ingredients Pata Negra charcuterie and lobster.
For the main course, we opted for 'Our Burger', stuffed with braised Aberdeen Angus beef ox cheek and duck foie gras from Les Landes and accompanied by the most fantastic chunky chips. The combination of unctuous foie gras with the intensely beefy cheek in a toasted bun was surprising, intriguing and delectable - a remarkably refined burger.
We also had Eggs Benedict, with York ham and black truffle from Perigord (for a £5 supplement). This was very nicely executed. We also had a portion of Macaroni and cheese, gratinated with aged Comte.
There is a wide range of cakes and puddings, fruit salads, cheesecakes, but by this stage in proceedings, we were struggling to finish our food, and opted to share a freshly made waffle with a wonderfully tart rhubarb conserve and Chantilly cream. Dr G has always fancied himself as a waffle connoisseur, and even he was impressed by the fine flavours and textures in the Connaught's version, accompanied by a good house blend coffee.
For more information about Hélène Darroze's fantastic brunch at The Connaught, including the entire menu on offer, visit the link here.
Cost: £55 per person (£39 for children)
Likes: Fine old Mayfair hotel setting, discreet elegance, great food. A fantastic place to take visitors for an impressive brunch.
Verdict: An outstanding place for a posh brunch on a Saturday. It's not cheap, but represents very good value for money given the location, quality of ingredients and stellar chef. I loved it and will be returning. Highly recommended.