Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Restaurant review: Le Vacherin in Chiswick

I had a nice lunch today a Le Vacherin, a French brasserie on Acton Common Green, in fact close to Chiswich park. For Richmondians, it's two tube stops and a 10 mn walk away (from Gunnersbury and BS.Inc. Tower).

The restaurant was empty when we arrived, which let me some time to look at the settings: restrained, classical but sleek and sober, I felt at home. It filled up with 4 other tables, which is a good sign on a mid-week lunchtime.

I had some sweetbread in tempura batter, which were surprising and good. They were really well cooked but I ended up discarding the batter because I felt it overwhelmed the taste of my favourite offal. One of my guest settled for the "Scallops, Black Pudding & Alsace Bacon", which seemed like a strange but apparently successful pairing.
I then followed through with some "Aged Beef Fillet Tail, Sauce Foie Gras", which disappointingly wasn't blue but medium rare. Excellent meat, but I hate when it's over-cooked. My two guests went with fish (dover sole and brill and seemed pleased). I un-diplomatically chose a red Burgondy (2005 Cotes de Beaune by Louis Latour, which was OK but I usually avoid large merchands): the wine list is good, not too intimidating but could do with a little more research.

The deserts were nice, I settled for the pear and almonds tarts -a little stuffy for a lunch. Cheese platter seemed a little restricted given the name of the restaurant (no Vacherin!)

Service was nice, reserved and discreet -exactely what I want.

The best news is the price: even with a £41 bottle, it all came under £60 per head, which makes it one of the best value proper restaurant around. I would definitely come back... and highly recommend it!

Le Vacherin, 76-77 South Parade, Chiswick, London, W4 5LF - Tel 020 8742 2121 - www.levacherin.co.uk

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