Happy half birthday to me!! No? No one else celebrate their milestone half birthday?
Well I do and contrary to popular belief… IT IS A THING!!
For my 26 and a half birthday I recently went to Chez Bruce. Now this is a place you go if you really want to impress someone, or if you have a special occasion (such as the aforementioned) to celebrate.
The modern French restaurant is Michelin-starred, so before you step in, you know you’re going to be blown away. It’s high end without being stuffy, impressive without being overpriced, and the food is comfortably creative without being too quirky.
The ordering process is straightforward so you won’t get in a flap. It’s a three-course set menu for £49.50 and the dishes change regularly depending on the season.
The waiters are extremely friendly and bring around parmesan biscuits and a bread basket before you’ve even sat down. A sommelier is also on hand to recommend wines – without being too pushy.
To start I had the salad of asparagus, prosciutto, aged gouda and tomatoes. I don’t normally go for salads when eating out (what’s the point?!) but this was very fresh and a nice, light warm-up to the cote du boeuf I was having for mains. My date had the meatier option to start – the polpette risotto. Rich and creamy without being too indulgent.
We then shared the cote du boeuf, hand cut chips, green beans and bearnaise sauce, washed down with a carafe of Sancerre Rouge (tres romantique, n’est pas?). The beef was beautiful – medium rare, tender and plentiful. We were stuffed by the end.
But then came the dessert. As it was my half birthday, chocaholic me had to have the hot chocolate pudding. It was heaven – very decadent and perfectly balanced with the brittle praline. My date had the baked apple charlotte which we actually thought was better. It may not have been as photogenic, but it was the right amount of sweetness for the end of our three-course feast.
The staff do try and tip you over the edge before leaving, by offering complimentary truffles and Danish biscuits while you wait for the bill.
I’ve been wanting to go to Chez Bruce for months and can I just say, it didn’t disappoint. What a menu and what a wine list. We didn’t get the cheese board but they literally bring out dozens of cheese to choose from.
It’s the kind of place you go for a special date night, or if your parents are in town or if you want to sample some Michelin-starred cuisine… or if it’s your half birthday.
I’ll definitely be back next year.
Date factor: great for 100th dates, special dates
Price: £49.50 for three courses plus drinks and service
Getting there: 5 minutes from Wandsworth Common train station
More info: www.chezbruce.co.uk