★★★★★ | Wellbourne Brasserie, London
There’s a hidden gem of a restaurant right at the doorstep of the old BBC studios in Shepherd’s Bush that’s still a bit undiscovered but well worth the effort to seek out.
The restaurant is Wellbourne Brasserie, and the food is really really delicious, and very very unique. One look at the menu and you will understand why; you’ll know you’re in for something very different and very satisfying.
Wellbourne Brasserie is steps away from the White City tube stop of the Central Line, which is also steps away from the western end of Westfield Shopping mall and the new John Lewis megastore. The trendy new Soho House is right down the street, as is the new buzzy Bluebird Cafe. But I recommend you continue walking up Wood Lane, past White City tube station, where you’ll see a small park and just beyond that park is Wellbourne Brasserie in a building complex called Westworks that still houses some BBC offices. There are some other cafes in this complex (Feast is one of them), as well as a Starbucks across the way, but it’s Wellbourne Brasserie that will want to be your destination.
It’s well worth the visit for the food. I want to go back to re-experience eating the Vol-au-vents. They are small stuffed puff pastries, and for the bargain price of 3 for £6, you can have one each which include broad beans, ewe’s cheese & mint, salt cod brandade, and pulled lamb shoulder with violet mustard. They’re so unlike anything you’ve ever tasted; cooked with care and eaten with love – highly recommended. Me and my dining companion, in between sips of glasses of their refreshing Aperol Spritz (£6), asked each other ‘how can they top this?” Well, they did. The mussels, 15 for a mere £8, were served in a big bowl with two large pieces of sourdough toasted bread with vinaigrette dressing, were a mussels lovers dream. Also very good was the Lyonnaise Salade which came with a hen’s egg, bacon, and a divine dijon mustard vinaigrette – for only £7.50 a delicious starter. We also ordered ‘La Latteria’ burrata with white asparagus – it was a mozzarella and cream blob, and if that’s your thing, you will enjoy it (£8).
I’m not exaggerating when I say I had the best duck I’ve ever had. Their duck leg confit is smashingly served over crushed apple and green lentils in a large bowl where I absolutely savoured every bite. The dish looked gorgeous and tasted even better. And for only £12, it’s perhaps the best bargain on the menu. My dining companion was very satisfied with her Whole lemon sole, which came with sea vegatables. The sole is boned, its a very light dish, and perhaps a bit pricey (£17), but with delicious and large sides of spinach (£3) and green asparagus (£6), she, and me, were fine. But It was the duck that spoke, not the sole, and it spoke wonderfully!
Wellbourne Brasserie has an amazingly extensive wine list, too large to mention here. However, our courses were paired with the perfect wines. Our first wine was the lively white Australian Berton Vineyard wine – perfectly smooth, see-through – making it very light, and an excellent choice. With our mains, again I was elated with the Rose Groot Constantia from South Africa, as I didn’t fancy red so this rose was a perfect match, as was the Red Colomba Bianca which my dining companion highly enjoyed with her fish. I would be remiss if I left out dessert. We had the amazingly delicious and fresh Lemon Leaf Sorbet (£4) – a nice way to finish off our meal. If you prefer something a bit more substantial I say go for Summer pudding or the Dolce de Leche Ice Cream Sandwich (both £6).
The team behind Wellbourne Brasserie have over 30 years experience running a restaurant. Ross Gibbens was most recently head chef of the popular Dabbous while Michael Kennedy comes from Bristol’s popular Wallfish Bistro. Between both of them, and an amazingly nice staff, both front and back of house, bring to us a restaurant, while minimalist in decor but at the same time sharp and clean, food that is cooked with care and that tastes absolutely wonderful. Wellbourne Brasserie is a quality dining experience in a relaxed brasserie atmosphere at reasonable prices. I hope the locals, and others, find this hidden gem as it offers an excellent alternative to the many chain and fast food restaurants at the nearby Westfield Shopping Centre.
Westworks Building, 195 Wood Lane,
London, W12 7FQ
Telephone 0203 4174865
Monday – Friday 11.30am-10pm
Saturday – 11.30am-9pm
Sunday – Closed
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.