Open Mon–Fri midday–3pm; Sat–Sun midday–3.30pm; Mon–Sat 6pm–10.30pm; Sun 6pm–10pm
I had few expectations of the Brompton Bar and Grill. However, I did expect meat and a well-heeled Chelsea set, and most of that I got. Set on the corner of Brompton Road you could mistake this it for a Balans/cafe type joint, but it offers a lot more than that. The entrance is discreet and, after walking through two sets of doors, a small and lively bistro restaurant is revealed.
There was some confusion when we arrived as to where we would be seated and it seemed a little disorganised. Some of the staff appeared rather arrogant and unfriendly – something I always think is totally unnecessary, particularly in the service industry. The manager, Cedric, was particularly arrogant – walking around constantly clicking his pen – this was both distracting and imposing. We were seated in the middle of the restaurant and I would suggest, if you can book, to request a table against the wall or towards the back of the restaurant.
The ambience, emanating from a diverse crowd, was fun and boisterous. From young post-grads to an elderly couple having a Friday night meal, to male friends grabbing a bite to eat after work; the Brompton Bar and Grill appeals to most in the area. It’s the sort of place you can have a few too many glasses/bottles of wine and take the volume up without disturbing the other patrons. At first we found it hard to talk because it was so loud, but we soon found our way.
Unfortunately, the Absinth bar was shut as January is their quiet period, but I can imagine this is a gem of a hangout. Absinth would be a great place to hire for a private party. They also have live jazz here from time to time.
The clue is in the title. MEAT! I went for the rib eye (£22.50) which was just how I like it and cooked to perfection. Fries were a little too salty, but this place has a French flavour so if you have high blood pressure or cholesterol then make it clear to go easy on the salt. For starter, I had the Dorset crab with mayonnaise and toast (£15.50); a generous-sized portion and again, delicious. My dining partner had the steak tartar (£8.50). She found this to have a little too much Tabasco sauce – but don’t let this deter you, I tried it and love, love, loved it. I guess, like the salt, make it clear how you like your food done.
For main, my friend had veal chops (£29.50) ordered rare – beautifully cooked and scrumptious. This was accompanied with a side of spinach (£4) and green salad (£3.50). The salad was over-dressed to the point where the leaves where saturated and soggy. Any faults were small and would not put me off eating here again.
For pudding we had Affogato (£5) and Coupe de Churchill (£8.50). Both were delectable and surprisingly good value for money. This is a very reasonably priced menu for the location and standard of food. I just think they need to turn the temperature up on the service – then this will be an impressive local bistro.
The cocktails were outstanding and this further confirmed my assumption that the bar downstairs would be a lot of fun. After our meal, Cedric, who was at this point much friendlier, treated us to some absinthe – a visual treat.
I’m a wine lover and was looking forward to the recommendation from the manager, Cedric. We were given the house red (£16), which was distinctly average. It lacked body and was less than complimentary to the food, which was far above average. Ordinarily, I avoid house wine and clearly Le Bosq 2011 cemented this aversion. However, the wine list is extensive and I’m sure I’d have been happy with some of the other wines on offer.