LUNCH AT LE COLOMBIER
It’s always great to have a good local restaurant and we are lucky to have several around us to cater for the well-heeled residents of Chelsea & Kensington.
Le Colombier is an oasis of French popular cuisine – a typical restaurant that you would find in any corner of France – no frills, entirely predictable, what you see is what you get and not a single blow lamp in sight.
So this is probably why it’s always pretty full with people of a certain age when we have ever been there and last Sunday it was heaving with the conventionally good and the great locals. And why not? A restaurant surviving for 21 unbroken years says something for the skill of Didier Garnier and his team in holding it all together as a model of consistency.
We went with the family to celebrate Sonia’s 80th birthday and I’m now handing over the review to her to describe our experience.
LUNCH AT LE COLOMBIER
We have been quite a few times at Le Colombier and have thoroughly enjoyed it. So six of us went there to celebrate my 80th Birthday last Sunday.
My grandson had a large plate of prawns served cold on a bed of ice. He had to peel them himself which is much better to feel the freshness and the mayonnaise served with it was genuinely homemade
Neville and Mijanou ordered the white meat crab salad, again very fresh very well prepared with a light mayonnaise sauce and a beautiful leaf salad
Jade and I had the Sunday special menu, and the starter was very nice: Rillettes of two salmons: smoked salmon that is very finely chopped in a creamy mousse of salmon. Again, very pleasant, served with a lovely salad.
Rowan, as she loves Roquefort cheese, had a salad of endive leaves stuffed with grilled slightly caramelised walnut with chopped Roquefort and a little salad. She thoroughly enjoyed that.
Mjanou and Bailey had Côtes d’Agneau; three each, two beautifully cooked and pink and one smaller and slightly over cooked, served to their delight with lovely thin chips
Neville had one of his favourite dishes – Ris de Veau (calf’s sweetbreads) served on a bed of spinach, Chinese wild mushrooms and a “Jus” He felt the Ris were slightly overcooked and dry, but quite enjoyable.
Rowan thoroughly enjoyed her roasted loin of cod served with Puy lentils.
Jade and I had the tuna fish which was on the Sunday lunch menu. One steak was beautifully cooked, the other was quite dry; the very strong capers and melted butter sauce were a little too heavy for such a delicate fish. The accompanying potatoes, however, were beautifully cooked, too.
Neville had the sorbet of cassis with crème de mure: (blackberry) with a crême de Cassis which he found very intense and excellent.
The Crème Brulée and Tarte Tatin served with a little ice cream were classic and great
Rowan liked her Croquant au Chocolat but not the orange bit and Jade and I shared a Chaud-froid aux Amandes. A delicious almond ice cream with lots of almonds and a delicious and generous hot chocolate sauce. We loved it!!!
The bill for the six of us came to a very reasonable £348 including 12.5% “discretionary” service and two bottles of very reasonably priced quality wines which is under £60 a head, but reckon to pay up to £100 if all the dishes are á la carte with some mid priced wines on the list.
On the whole a lovely celebration of my 80th birthday! But I would have appreciated a little recognition of the occasion by the restaurant!!!
There is an in depth appraisal of the wine list which is available in the Members section at https://www.winebehindthelabel.org/category/wine-lists-analysed/. If you want to read it fully – you have to join the Club!
Suffice to say that there are some really good value wines on the list according to the Wine behind the label price/quality ratios and we chose two, one that came out as exceptional value for money in our Value for Money Wines App and one that came out just as value for money. The 3 star 2012 La Chapelle de Bébian Languedoc-Roussillon wine at £29 would have been good value at even twice the price and the 2 star 2017 white Luberon from Domaine Val Joanis at £28 was also good value. Both drink deliciously and absolutely á point in their development and compatibility with the food. There are lots of other wines on the list including a load of top French wines from Bordeaux and Burgundy, at a price, of course. So you do have the choice of going for famous names or great value but you will need our Value for Money Wines Pro app to do this efficiently and get the best out of the wine list.
145 Dovehouse Street, London, SW3 6LB
Tel: · (020) 7351 1155
Private dining for 10-28 people
Open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week
Ratings (Lunch only)
Wine list 12
Value for Money 12
For an explanation of the ratings go here