It’s not every week you get invited to lunch at one of London’s hottest new haunts. But if you are ever invited to Brasserie Chavot – go. Just go!
Two Michelin-starred chef Eric Chavot has created a rare find in Brasserie Chavot – a restaurant that all the critics can agree is divine.
Rightly as I was having lunch with one of the directors from South Africa’s idyllic Sabi Sabi luxury safari lodges we accompanied the meal with a crisp South African Chenin Blanc. And when Eric Chavot came out to greet us at the end of the meal, an exciting exchange of ideas between the French chef and Sabi Sabi’s Jacques Smit, meant that I could well have witnessed the development of a fantastic travel offering. But as I’m not sure I can talk about it just yet I’ll move onto the food.
Brasserie Chavot’s deliciously accessible French food
There’s a stereotype that dictates French food has to be complex and pretentious. But Chavot’s dishes are deliciously accessible. despite him offering up some of the most typically lavish ingredients – oysters, lobster, venison and snails.
Tempted as I was by the soft shelled crab served with aioli (which looked to die for!), I went for Eric Chavot’s signature dish – snails bourginon, meatball and potato espuma. The snails were served like I’ve never seen before in a hearty tomato and garlic sauce with tiny veal meatballs beneath a light as a feather potato purée. It’s an unusual but delicious creation.
After filling up on a main of grilled poussin with garlic, lemon confit, I couldn’t make it to dessert. But I enjoyed feasting my eyes on Brasserie Chavot’s sweet menu including vanilla crème brûlée (naturally) and baba au rhum with crème fraîche Chantilly.
Brasserie Chavot is a must for foodies visiting the capital even if just for the classic brasserie-styled art nouveau interiors. Also as it’s quickly become one of London’s fashionable haunts you never know who you’ll see there. I spotted French chef Albert Roux checking out young upstart Chavot.
Brasserie Chavot is in Mayfair next to the Westbury Hotel, at 1 Conduit Street, London W1 (020 7078 9577).