Chez Bruce is another restaurant that had been on my list for a long time, but Wandsworth always seemed so far away. Since recently moving to Parsons Green, it has suddenly become a lot closer, so I reserved it for a trip with my mom, when she was visiting form Brazil.
The restaurant looks like a French bistro from the outside and is somewhat plain, but very nice and cosy inside. They serve either two or three course set menus at £41.50 and £49.50, a good deal considering the quality.
What we ate:
The meal started with some parmesan biscuits that reminded me of my childhood in Brazil, as well as Hungarian biscuits that my grandmother used to make, called Pogacsa (pronounced pogatcha). My mother said that the Hungarian version has even more butter, which is hard to believe, and another reason that they were so tasty and that we kept going back for more.
Wild mushroom soup with a poached egg and thyme: a thick and non-cream based soup that was earthy and chunky with a bunch of different mushroom varieties. The egg was perfectly cooked and added wonderful creaminess.
Salad of celeriac, glazed walnuts, roscoff onions, Roquefort and pears: my fault for being boring and ordering a salad! And there was not much salad there…it was mostly boiled pear wedges with some batons of celeriac and a very mellow cream purée. I have no idea where the blue cheese went and this dish was pretty average.
Tagliolini nero with cuttlefish, tomato, crab toasts and aioli: my mom ordered this and loved it. I tasted it and thought that it was delicious, with an abundance of seafood and perfectly cooked squid ink pasta. Very tasty.
Roast cod with truffle mash, porcini sauce, hazelnut crumble, leek hearts and chanterelles: this was the star dish of the evening. Both my mom and I ordered it as we saw someone eating it. The fish was tall, flaky and stunning. The truffle was subtle but mixed perfectly with the porcini underneath the fish, and the mashed potatoes were very smooth and buttery, reminding me of the one I had at Joel Robuchon.
Assiette of pork with choucroute, morteau sausage, blanquette sauce and crackling: obviously Stewart could not resist a pork extravaganza with various different piggy parts, but sadly he did not love this dish. He felt that the dish was somewhat sweet and the sausage overly-smoked. I actually liked his dish and thought the choucroute was delicious.
Soaked coffee cake with walnut crumble, muscovado and rum: our waitress really struggled to describe this but we went for it anyway. Small cubes of soaked cake with a tasty walnut ice cream, but I have to say not satisfying enough as a dessert, so I had to snack on some chocolate when I got home. I should have gone for the dulce de leche ice cream or chocolate cake.
In sum: good spot for a nice dinner if you live not too far away, but probably not worth the trek all the way across town. To be fair, the fish was spectacular and maybe we just didn’t order as well as we should. I know I messed up with the salad; so perhaps I will give it another go, maybe when dad is visiting in January…..The fish was a 10 and my mom and Stewart loved their starters but the dessert could have been better…….I was surprised service was not better, maybe we were unlucky and got a waiter who had just started (my guess). Will go back for sure.
Chez Bruce http://www.chezbruce.co.uk/
2 Bellevue Rd, Wandsworth Common, London SW17 7EG
+4420 8672 0114
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