Sunday, 18 March 2012

Meribel Brasserie Review

When I moved to moved to London, I loved Camden on a Sunday, the independent clothes shops, the market and independent restaurants gave it all a great buzz. Now jump a few years (OK a lot of years) and my tolerance for Camden on Sunday is lacking in enthusiasm. In fact I try to make an effort not to go anywhere near Camden on a Sunday, it still has the market, independent restaurant and shops, but it's all too busy for me.

Luckily for me the restaurant was next to Camden Road train station rather than the tube, so was away from the crowds. The restaurant is a French brasserie which has a great interior, very shabby chic. I loved the ceiling which had different design patterns on I, it looked like it was made from different wallpaper all very quirky. The lamp shades appeared to bet cut down decanters which blended well with the overall design of the restaurant.

The menu had the traditional french fare, moules marineres, escargot for starters and cassoulet (toulouse sausage rather than confit of duck) and beef entrecĂ´te for main course. But on a Sunday, they do a roast, this week it was roast beef. A bit odd considering roast dinners are an english dish and not really french, but I did smirk because the french nickname for the british is rosbif, so maybe the joke was on us :-).

I ordered the home cured salmon terrine and my friends and partner ordered the scallops baked in muscadet and cheese dressing. The salmon terrine was lacking in salmon flavour, there was too much mayo, raw onion and potato and overall was not good. The scallops were well cooked and moist, but what stood out was they left the coral on, which my friends really liked, these days a lot of restaurants remove them, which is a shame.

I ordered the spatchcock poussin, with dauphinoise potatoes with a bearnaise sauce. My friend order the same but with garlic and herb sauce and chips and my partner ordered the duck breast with an orange and cognac glaze with a herb risotto and roasted vegetables. The duck was well cooked and the risotto was firm and creamy which my partner thoroughly enjoyed. The spatchcock poussin should really have been called half a small chicken, because it wasn't spatchcocked at all, but it was well cook, The skin was crispy and the flesh was tasty and moist. The bearnaise sauce, if that is what you can call it, came in a little bowl and was terrible. Bearnaise sauce is suppose to be a smooth butter sauce with herbs, this sauce was cold and lumpy, there was no butter flavour and was totally overpowered by tarragon and raw onion. Luckily the dauphinoise was perfectly cooked with a wonderful hint of cream and garlic which was not overpowering. My friends poussin was also well cooked, but the garlic and herb was actually butter and not a sauce as mentioned on the menu.
The staff were very helpful and polite, but appeared to be struggling. Empty plates took a while to be removed, at one point a couple next to us had their main course turn up but the plates from their starters had yet to be removed.

With all my moaning we did really enjoy this place and will certainly be back and so don't be put off. With the Tastecard we saved ourselves a quarter of the bill, it could have been a bigger saving, but we had a lot of drinks. Hopefully when we go back they will have ironed out the little mishaps and that terrible bearnaise sauce.

Meribel Brasserie Website

1 comment:

Meribel Drinks said...

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