★★★★★ | Brasserie of Light, London
The second you walk into Brasserie of Light, (the recently opened restaurant in Selfridges) you are wowed. And the wows don’t stop there.
Located on the east side 1st flr of the building in a space that used to be a loading bay, Brasserie of Light is not just an amazing looking restaurant, the food is also exceptional.
Bathed in chrome, glass and some glitter, the room is absolutely stunning (think the Delaunay or the Wollesley, and then crank it up by 100%). But what’s most noticeable is the Pegasus in the room, yes, literally. It’s a behemoth piece of art, created by Damien Hirst (to the tune of £6 million). It’s a 24-foot crystal encrusted statue with a 30-foot wingspan that soars over diners – it’s simply stunning.
Though Brasserie of Light feels a bit cramped and claustrophobic, once you start eating your way through the menu these thoughts quickly disappear.
The Starters are amazing. Choices such as King Crab with Avocado and Watermelon (£17.95), and the Chicken Dumplings with Truffle and Citrus (£9.50) are unique to any menu, but it was the Sesame Fried Chicken with a delicious Avocado dip and the Popcorn Shrimp that won us over. The chicken, at an amazingly good £8.50 price, comes with about 10 medium size crunchy chicken nuggets with strips of celeriac sprinkled on top. Divine. Also yummy was the popcorn shrimp (about 10 pieces), which was bathed in a creamy but not very spicy sauce, and for an added Instagram ready photo, a leaf-littered with sesames stuck out on the side. These two starters I would absolutely order again.
The main courses only upped the ante. While I wanted, and was looking forward to, the Rib Eye Steak, the Thursday me and my friend went, at 7:45 pm, they had already run out of the Rib Eye – very disappointing. So I opted for the Fillet Steak (7oz at £29). It was tender, moist, perfectly cooked and very delicious. My friend had the Pan-fried Sea Bass Fillet, and at £22.95 it was good value for the money. It was served over tomatoes and black olives and fennel, with a warm tomato chickeree, paste on top. She was thrilled about it! Our sides were also very good. Green Herb Salad with Avocado was just that, and my Sprouting Broccoli with Lemon and olive oil (both £4.50 and both very good), but the Steamed Rice and Red Quina was a bit dry (£3.75). But all in all our choice of mains was perfect. Other items on the menu include a delicious sounding Moroccan Spiced Sweet Potato, Aubergine Baba Ganoush with Coconut Yogurt (£13.95), Glazed Swordfish (£19.75) and Chicken Milanese (£17.50).
The Desserts were filled with light. My Butterfly Flutterby – iced passion fruit parfait with pistachio meringue and vanilla cream bursting with unique flavours was presented beautifully. My friend had the Chocolate Bubbles which was all about chocolate, chocolate (with vanilla ice cream), served in a bowl with a wafer on top.
Cocktails were exceptional as well. The Passion Fruit Cosmopolitan, one of three drinks highlighted on the main menu, was in a generous large glass (£9.85), while my Immunity Smoothie – non-alcoholic – is one I highly highly recommend (9 healthy ingredients, including ginger and turmeric). It was just refreshing and very delicious, so delicious that my dining companion also wanted to have one. At the end of the meal, I had the classic Expresso Martini, and it was perfectly chilled and just sublime – pure perfection.
What left is there to say about Brasserie of Light? The service is very good, the ambience trendy (there is a DJ Thursday – Saturday nights if you like to have your meals in a club-like element), and the food, as mentioned above, is absolutely delicious. Brasserie of Light is the next generation Wollesley, with its signature and unmistakable quality and ambience, classic British menu and internationally inspired dishes, style, flavours and service. The Richard Caring Group has delivered another gem of a brasserie.
Monday – Friday: 8:00 am – midnight
Saturday: 9:00 am – midnight
Sunday: 9:00 am t 11:00 pm
Selfridges, 400 Oxford St, Marylebone, London W1A 1AB
Tim Baros writes film and theatre articles/ reviews for Pride Life and The American magazines and websites, as well as for Hereisthecity.com, Blu-RayDefinition.com and TheGayUK.com. He has also written for In Touch and TNT Magazines, SquareMile.com and LatinoLife.co.uk. He is a voting member for the UK Regional Critics Circle and the Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA – of which he is the UK representative). In addition, he has produced and directed two films: The Shirt and Rex Melville Desire: The Musical.