(This restaurant has now closed)
This has become, after just one visit, a favourite restaurant. Brompton Bar & Grill is a confident and classic establishment with all those attributes for which we search, mostly in vain, across the Channel. Phrases like ‘you can’t eat like that in England’ and ‘nobody does a steak like the French’ are oft bandied around by folks who have not taken a look at what we have in London.
After the Second World War this site was The Brompton Grill, a Greek Cypriot-run restaurant the like of which is just a memory. It was the haunt of the great and the good and the not-so-good and offered the food that was in vogue at the time. After a few incarnations and a change of hands that original restaurant has become the Brompton Bar and Grill.
It has the ambiance of the best French bistros I have ever visited. It isn’t over-themed French but it manages to combine contemporary artwork with an imposing bar and intimate tables that will seem familiar to any Francophile. Yes, the staff are also authentically French so the accent continues.
The menu isn’t a mile long and that’s always reassuring. One wants to feel that one’s dinner is fresh from the chef’s pan rather than frozen and fiddled with. There are daily specials which are worth considering, particularly if you are a regular, and you will likely be just that after the first visit.
The starters are a delight with dishes that would seem at home on a menu in the Pas de Calais. I ordered Morcilla Black Pudding – Piquant Tomato Sauce, Fried Burford Brown Egg. This was a substantial tower of well-seasoned black pudding atop grilled bread. The tomatoes were a spiced foil to the rich and sunny egg yolk that bathed the whole dish. This was a well-constructed plateful with rustic ingredients. Don’t miss this one.
Ham Hock Croquettes served with Sauce Gribiche at Brompton Bar & Grill, was my guest’s choice. The golden croquettes were hearty and the sauce a perfect partner. Sauce Gribiche is a classic French preparation and the sauce of choice for tête de veau (calf’s head). It’s a mayonnaise-style cold dressing with chopped gherkin, capers and herbs, and garnished with hard-boiled eggs. Granted it’s not a thing of beauty but it works marvellously with the richness of the ham.
My companion chose from the Specials menu for his main course: Whole Roast Partridge served with celeriac and apple mash and chanterelle mushrooms. The meat was moist and not over-gamey, and the mash was a perfect sweet and earthy accompaniment.
Remember that phrase ‘nobody does a steak like the French’? Well, you can have one of the best steaks outside La Belle France at The Brompton Bar & Grill. I felt sure it was going to be good before I ordered. The restaurant is correct in every regard so they would surely excel at the cornerstone dish of any self-respecting Grill. Ribeye steak was simply presented and perfect. The meat was juicy, tender and flavourful, and blessed by delicate cross-hatching from the eponymous grill. And, yes, chips – chunky, golden, piping hot! A glass of merlot and I was content. The waitress asks “Would you like ketchup or mustard with that?” Appreciative guest: “Mustard please – make it ‘French’!”
Brompton Bar & Grill
243 Brompton Road
Restaurant review by Chrissie Walker © 2018