Restaurant Bellevue Rendez-vous
218 Trinity Road, Wandsworth Common
SW17 7HP London
Reviewed on Friday 8 May 2009 evening
Restaurant Belle vue Rendez-vous
It is the 8th time or 9th time we have been to Mini-Mundus – now Bellevue Rendez-vous – since we discovered this lovely restaurant about two years ago. I think it is good they changed their name because now it sounds more French, and gives a better indication of what is inside. I walked in front of it for years without noticing it and I believe it was because of the somewhat anonymous “Mini-Mundus” name. One day in the late afternoon, after walking at Wandsworth Common, we passed by and were looking at the menu posted outside when some fellow passers-by told us it was a restaurant to try and that the food was excellent. The restaurant was closed at the time because the previous day they had a party night but the door was open so we went in. Pablo (the chef) was cleaning the place, yet he was extremely nice to us and we were happy to discover a real French restaurant in this area. I had not previously been confident that it was really French. When I asked if he had foie gras in his menu, he even offered us some to take home so we could taste it! That was our first encounter with Mini-Mundus. It could not have been better!
The design of the restaurant has changed, for the third time I think, since I’ve known it and it keeps improving the place even if I liked the way it was before. We have been happy with Mini-Mundus every time we went there so they are very reliable.
Today we had as first courses a blue cheese salad with apple and walnuts (£5.50) and a rabbit and pork terrine (£6.50). As main courses we ordered a confit of duck (£14) and a rack of lamb (£17). The wine was a 2005 Bergerac Château Ponchapt (£15). As dessert we had a chocolate fondant (£6.50) and a gâteau de Pablo (£5).
The terrine was very good – nice and rustic/chunky. Happily, it was not overloaded with salt – as is often the case with commercial patés and terrines – though salt and pepper was provided for those who like to garnish their food. It was served with excellent fresh-baked sliced baguette and cornichons on the side, which provided a nice contrast to the terrine. The blue cheese salad was great, with the apples and walnuts contrasting nicely from the cheese.
Stéphanie and her excellent staff were as friendly and attentive as always, and our meals arrived piping hot as they should. The confit, sadly, was overcooked and a bit tough. It isn’t an easy dish to mess, so that was a bit of a disappointment. I have had the confit at this restaurant several times previously, and it was good every other time – so I won’t hold it against them. The green beans and sautées potatoes were good as always (though perhaps a little less plentiful than in the past – I hope its not a trend!). The lamb was excellent! It was perfectly cooked, a little burnt and crispy outside but tender in the middle (see photos below) and the mash and endive fitted in well.
Pork and rabbit terrine
Blue cheese salad with apples and walnuts
Confit of duck
Rack of lamb
Detailled picture of the excellent racks of lamb
2005 Bergerac red wine
Fondant au chocolat
Gâteau de Pablo
The two desserts
Cost and conclusion: the bill was £69.50 and there is no “discretionary” service charge included in the bill as many restaurants rudely do so a big bravo to them to keep it that way! By the way, they say at the bottom of the menu a 12.5% service charge is added to rude people so be friendly and you will be safe ;-) I think Bellevue Rendez-vous/Mini-Mundus offers a very good value for money considering what you are getting. The food is excellent, the location next to the park is great, the service is friendly and efficient. What else to ask? Well, I would like fry panned foie gras for example but I am being difficult! We will be back for sure!