Brasserie Blanc, Jericho

Brasserie Blanc is situated in the hub of Jericho’s dining strip, Walton Street, and is a taste of the very food Raymond Blanc grew up eating in Besancon as a youngster.

The restaurant has a small bar that greets would be diners, and a subtly decorated dining room, split into different sections. One of the first things you notice is the atmosphere, a stamp of approval that this is a popular and relaxed venue. Diners of all ages grace the tables, talking, drinking and eating.

The menu offers an array of starters, as well as some great sharing options, such as the savoyarde cheese fondue and the selection board. We decided to sample the latter, which comes with chicken liver parfait, hot oak smoked mackerel, Milano salami, cucumber and dill, carrot and fennel and a tomato salad, and is priced at £11.00 as a starter for two. Feasting on the selection board begun as the plate was arriving. It was immaculately presented and was devoured with our eyes. The taste did not disappoint either, with the chicken liver parfait proving to be a highlight.

For main, diners can choose from classic French cuisine like Toulouse sausage and smooth mash potato, snails or something different like the seared North Sea cod fillet. Also on offer are dishes from the grill such as steak, pork steak or king prawns in garlic and the specials. I opted for the 8oz sirloin steak at £18.50, which comes with chips, grilled tomatoe and a sauce of your choice, for which I opted to have horseradish. As my usual form dictates, I had to have the steak rare. Again, my dish’s consumption began before it arrived on the table, with immaculate aesthetics heightening the anticipation.  The steak was cooked as I had asked, and washed down with a glass of house champagne.

To complete our culinary experience, the ‘Weiss’ dark chocolate fondue was a necessity. Coming with a selection of three types of biscuit, plus strawberries and priced at £12.50 to share, this was the perfect ending to our meal. Hot, velvety dark chocolate combined with a selection of dipping tools is the stuff ‘sweet’ dreams are made of.

One of the common misconceptions about Brasserie Blanc is that it is a pricey venue. However, although this food would justify a premium price tag, it’s actually priced competitively. The Toulouse sausage costs less than ten pounds, and the sharing options are excellent value. The restaurant also offers the ‘Jeune Blanc’ option on many dishes, meaning half a portion for half the price, suitable for younger diners.  Those diners seeking a set price deal need look no further than the ‘Dine with Wine’ menu priced at £11.00 for two courses, and £13.45 for three courses before 7.00pm and £13.50 for two courses, and £15.95 for three courses after 7pm. This option gives diners the chance to choose from a choice of three starters, four mains and three puddings. Highlights from each section include the mint and marjoram pea pancakes to start, shirred smoked haddock and leek for main and rum and raisin panacotta with raspberry sauce for dessert. Of course, every meal should be accompanied with a drink, and diners are given the choice of wines to bolt on to the meal ranging from £1.95 for a glass of Sauvignon Blanc to £4.70 for a glass of Joseph Perrier Champagne. On top of all of that, a roast of sirloin can be enjoyed on Sundays for just £12.80, adding a starter or desert for £2.45, excellent value all round.

Add all of the above to the first class service we received from Pavel, Monika and Damian, who form part of the excellent team at Brasserie Blanc, and you have a venue that not only serves fantastic French cuisine, but is priced so that everyone can enjoy it.

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