You could so easily walk past Brasserie Gustave; with a plain frontage and a small sign you could easily not notice it’s there. But the place is something of a tardis, and when I walked in it was much bigger than I thought it would be and it was lively and buzzy. The other thing that struck me were all the French voices that surrounded me, well if this a French restaurant approved by French people it must be good!
All the staff were French too, and there felt something rather special about that, we could almost be in Paris… were it not for the black cabs whizzing past on the streets of Chelsea outside the windows…
Though maybe we could pretend we were in Paris for a second as we sipped our ice cold glasses of champagne.
The restaurant is actually named after Gustave Eiffel, the famous architect of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and the little trinkets and art deco pictures that are surrounding the room remind you of this.
A sack of sliced baguettes is placed down on a wooden table covered in scratches and despite Chef Laurence Glayzer experience at The Savoy and The Ritz, Mr S and I weren’t really expecting fine dining. So we surprised when an amuse bouche arrived.
A beautifully earthy pea soup the sort of dish where you can just see the freshness in the deep green colour of the liquid.
Our kind hostess suggested that we pair the starters with a pinot blanc that was beautifully dry and aromatic and not at all sharp.
We started with a tuna carpaccio consisting of rare yellow fin tuna, lime dressing, avocado and chilli. I totally loved this dish, all the components blended beautifully and the avocado was deliciously cool and creamy. I was mopping up the zesty dressing with a slice of the baguette.
Our other starter was a perfectly prepared plate of green and white asparagus with sauce maltaise. The spears were so tender and perfectly cooked, our knives cut through them like butter; an ideal light and fresh starter for spring.
Restaurant critic, Jay Rayner loved Brasserie Gustave and according to his review it would be an act of ‘bloody mindedness’ not to order snails at a place like this. In fact, the hostess tells us it’s their signature dish and one of their most popular. Indeed, a 10 person-strong table of French people are sitting across from us and plates of escargot are being shared round with smiles.
I actually haven’t had them for years and Mr S and I are given a little silver spoon to scoop the molluscs out of the hot butter; crunchy croutons and soft flaky pastry make the ideal combination on the spoon and we wish we’d gone for the portion of twelve instead of six. Actually, Jay Rayner’s not the only critic to approve Faye Maschler named Brasserie Gustave one of London’s 10 best new restaurants in 2014
Mr Silver went all out with the main course choosing a decadent beef fillet with foie gras, truffle, spinach, Madeira jus and pommes frites. The beef was absolute perfection! Regular readers will know that I’m not a big meat eater but I tried several slices of this perfectly cooked dish; it was so juicy and tender.
My main was more a taste of summer and I loved the seared squid served with finely chopped Mediterranean vegetables, juicy tomatoes and a slug of balsamic!
We were pretty tempted by the Crepe Suzette as we watched the waitress flambe it for the table next to us but I was feeling pretty full and Mr S was far more tempted by the chocolate fondant. He claimed he was doing it for me and chocolate desserts always go down well on my blog…isn’t he a kind and selfless husband?
Just look at the perfect molten chocolate oozing out of the centre of the pudding… and the hot liquid paired beautifully with hazelnut ice cream on a bed of biscuit crunch.
My choice of frozen yoghurt, sorbet and fresh fruit was a light and refreshing end to the meal.
Mr S and I really enjoyed our lunch at Brasserie Gustave, not only was the food wonderful and a beautifully authentic taste of France, but the service was also excellent and we felt thoroughly looked after. Next time you’re in Chelsea don’t miss the little place on the end of Sydney Street, it’s a diamond.
I was invited to review