★★★★★ | Brasserie Zedel – perhaps the best restaurant in London?
Steps away from Piccadilly Circus is one of the most beautiful, elegant and affordable restaurants in London. It’s Brasserie Zedel.
If you walked by the entrance to the restaurant you would have no idea that beyond the front door, and down several flights of steps, is a grand Parisian brasserie, with vaulted high ceilings, marble columns, Beaux Arts/Art Deco decor with dozens and dozens of tables to accommodate you for either lunch or dinner. But not only will you find a restaurant, this huge cavernous complex also houses a cabaret lounge (Crazy Coqs) and the elegant Bar Américain. And if that’s not enough, there’s the ZL Café upstairs which is sneakily and actually the entrance to the entire complex.
The restaurant serves traditional French food at amazingly very affordable prices. In what is perhaps the best dinner deal in London, they offer, for a mere £12.75, a three-course Prixe Fixe meal which includes Carottes Rapées, Steak Haché with Frites, and a Café Gourmand or a Tarte aux Fruits. It’s a very delicious and satisfying meal. Or, you can splash out a bit more by trying their Plats de Jour – Plates of the day (£14.25 each), ranging from Poulet au Curry on Mondays to Cassoulet de Toulouse on Wednesday. Highly recommended, however, is the Boeuf Bourguignon, a delicious and tender beef braised in a red wine sauce with a helping of mash potato – it’s absolutely divine (£12.50). Other meat dishes include a whole roast free range french chicken for two (£14.75 each) – I’ve seen it and it’s huge. Other meat dishes include smoked belly of pork (£14.00) or a massive Rib Eye Steak (£25.75). If fish is your thing, Zedel will deliver. Deep fried whiting, trout, and seabass, among others, are all on offer, and all under the friendly price of £17.75. Side dishes (entrées) are all in abundance – with cheeses, onion soup, endive salad, steak tartare and fish soup and more to allow you to start the evening with a nibble. And to end the evening you can pick from cheese dishes to a Tarte au Citron, a Chocolate Souffle, to my favourite – champagne poured over mandarine sorbet – an absolute steal at £5.50. And the drinks list has top notch wines, biéres and cidres and champagnes to complement any and all the main courses.
As mentioned above, there is also the Crazy Coqs cabaret room, offering top notch talent in the world of cabaret and beyond. Previous performers have included Brian Batt, Steven Brinberg (the world’s most famous Barbra Streisand impersonator), to actress Sally Kellerman and Julian Clary. Coming up is an, even more, star and talent-studded lineup including the comedy cabaret of Coqs favourite Miss Hope Springs, X-Factor winner Matt Cardle, restaurant Critic Grace Dent, drag queen extraordinaire La Voix, and the House of Q, an all new night of cabaret, burlesque, music, mime and more. Have a look at the website as there are a lot more upcoming acts and so the programme really needs to be looked at and studied.
For more about the program and the restaurant, please go here:
Reviewed by Tim Baros
Brasserie Zédel opening hours:
Mon – Sat: 11:30 a.m. – Midnight
Sunday: 11:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
20 Sherwood Street
Telephone: 0207 734 4888
For general enquiries, please email: [email protected]com
Monday – Wednesday: 4.30pm – Midnight
Thursday – Friday: 4.30pm – 1.00am
Saturday: 1.00 pm – 1.00am
Sunday: 4.30pm – 11.00pm
Monday – Friday: 8.00am – 11.00pm
Saturday: 9.00am – 11.00pm
Sunday: 11.30am – 11.00pm
PRICE: £££ (explained)
STAR: ★★★★★ (explained)
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.