High Road Brasserie: Chiswick
High Road Brasserie
162-166 Chiswick High Rd , W4 1PR
Le Cercle: Knightsbridge
The menu is a combination of classical French with what can, at best, be called experimental additions. Despite my predilection for anything porcine I have to admit that "crispy pork and melting tuna" sounds like a pretty horrific concoction and not one I'd be willing to spend £6.00 on to try and prove myself wrong. Duck "chocobar" sounds very interesting and could either be a triumph or a disaster and nothing in between but didn't make the cut on this occasion. What did, however was the mini duck burger from the 'grignotages' list which, despite being "mini" was definitely worth its £4.50. A warm brioche bun gave way to crunchy lettuce and a rich well seasoned duck finish. I'd like to see a full size one on the main course list. A "winter salad" was essentially veg that you would eat with a roast, but raw. The dressing added to it was nice but it struck me as an undercooked side dish rather than a dish in itself.
Melting middle chocolate pudding and a citron tart were both very well made and delicious leaving the meal on a definite high. The chef clearly has a sweet tooth and is most at home with excellent desserts.
Charging us for an entire bottle of dessert wine instead of a glass was, I am absolutely sure, just an accidental oversight but unfortunately one that we only picked up on once the transaction had gone through and I understand the resulting refund took a couple of weeks which is unfortunate.
I did try to go back a couple of weeks later with my parents and booked a 9pm table. I got a phone call a couple of days before from the manager telling me that I was the only table booked in that evening and "although we'd happily open perhaps could I think of ....? Would I like to possibly not....? Maybe it would be a bit quiet....... ". So what you're trying to say is that you don't want to cancel my table but would quite like me to cancel? Fair enough. We ended up at the Wolseley. Good swap.
I have to admit I've gone off Le Cercle somewhat since they subsquently sent me an email newsletter in which they proudly boasted of their appearance in the first episode of the new series of Made in Chelsea in the same breath as Pippa Middleton having name checked them somewhere. Not sure these are the sort of credentials that a restaurant linked to Club Gascon should look for but hey ho....
The atmosphere in the restaurant is relaxed and the service pretty good. Prices are very reasonable for the style of restaurant and the location in Knightsbridge/Chelsea. It's not going to knock your socks off but, provided you're not ultra fussy, it won't disappoint. All in all a nice evening out but mainly down to the company rather than the food and restaurant experience and with a plethora of other great places to try I probably won't be back. I see that they are offering various voucher deals or cut price offers on certain websites and it would be worth a try on a deal but I wouldn't pay full price for it again.
1 Wilbraham Pl Knightsbridge, SW1X 9AE