It's been a while since I turned to someone and said 'that's one of the best meals I've had in London'. But that's exactly what I said to Jemima as we sank back into the deep red booth at Brasserie Gustave, our stomachs groaning from the three-course meal we'd just consumed, and our heads spinning slightly from the growing number of wine glasses sat in front of us.
We're so lucky to live in London, where you can find any food you want from around the world. Whether it's French food or Lebanese food, Eritrean or Japanese, London has it all. You always know you're onto a winner when you're surrounded by people speaking the home language of the restaurant, and at Brasserie Gustave, we lost count of the French speakers around us. We felt as though we were in a bistro in Paris; the art adorning the walls, the red leather booths, and the white linen table cloths.
Brasserie Gustave opened in 2014, and has taken London by storm with their French classics and expertise in Biodynamic wines. We naturally started with warm French bread, while we perused the menu and decided what to have. I went for all of my favourites.
I started with the Tuna Carpaccio, beautifully flavoured with chilli, avocado, and lime. The combination was pure perfection, not too spicy, but with enough flavour to make you want a never-ending plate of it. I could easily have just had a conveyor belt of tuna carpaccio.
Jemima being a vegetarian opted for the Fresh Pea Soup. She said it was really delicious with subtle flavours, and it was the perfect light starter.
Next I went for the Hand dived scallops, squid ink tagliatelle and pea puree. It was pure food art. The delicious squid ink tagliatelle looked as though the tagliatelle had been coated in a thick black oil; and not only did it look impressive, but it tasted exceptional as well! The scallops were beautifully fresh and cooked perfectly, and the flavour of the pea puree worked really well with the dish. Compared to the awful scallops I had at Ametsa with Arzak Instruction two years ago, these melted in my mouth and were almost as good as the ones I had on Scilly.
Jemima had the veggie option of Grilled green and white asparagus, morel mushrooms, crispy egg and sauce vierge. She said the asparagus was cooked perfectly, and she loved the crispy egg which was all runny and yummy when cut into!
By this point we'd had two glasses of wine, we'd chosen not to have champagne as I'm not very good at mixing wine with other drinks, and I really wanted to make the most of having biodynamic wines on offer. It's so rare that restaurants in London offer biodynamic wines, and after drinking them on a regular occasion at my old job, I grew rather partial to a decent biodynamic wine. Mostly because I find I wake up the next day with a fantastic lack of headache and hangover.
Anyway, I digress. My point is that after two glasses of wine, it was time for dessert, which meant it was also time for dessert wine, and this wine, was my favourite. Wine is a very personal thing, and to me a dessert wine should do two things; it should compliment your dessert (obvs), and it should be a dessert in itself. This wine, was definitely a dessert in itself, despite being a great lover of eating food, I could have easily just sat there and sipped gently, the golden nectar slipping down my throat and warming my insides. However, I really do love food, so I chose to have the Crepes Suzette A La Victor along with my wine.
I mean, how could anyone turn down a theatrical display in the middle of a restaurant!?
Not only did we get a fantastic theatrical display, but they also tasted incredible.
Jemima wanted something light and refreshing, so she opted for the pineapple with coconut and malibu ice-cream and spicy caramel sauce. She found it really refreshing and loved the mix of flavours!
To accompany this we were given a glass each of 50 degree Rhum J.M, which is a rum from the French Caribbean island of Martinique. Apparently the French Caribbean islands make rum using the sugar cane, while the other Caribbean islands such as Cuba, make rum using molasses. When I was in Cuba last year I went to the Havana Club rum factory, and we saw the vats of molasses there, so it was interesting to find out that the French islands make it in an entirely different way!
The rum was really strong. It burnt my mouth from one tiny sip. So I'm very happy I'd already eaten my dessert and drank my dessert wine.
Our meal at Brasserie Gustave was honestly one of the best meals I've had in London. The staff were fantastic, it had an incredible atmosphere - even on a Tuesday evening it was still completely full and had a fabulous buzz, and the food was just out of this world. I can hand on heart recommend it for anyone, whether you need somewhere for a business lunch/dinner, dinner with family, friends, or for a date. It really does feel as though you're sat in a restaurant in France, when actually, you're just a 5 minute walk from South Kensington station just off the Fulham Road.
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*We were invited to review and our meal was complimentary, but as always, my views are my own.