Prix Fixe Brasserie
39 Dean Street, Soho
London W1D 4PU
Prix Fixe Brasserie
With a name like that, you expect to find only set menus at Prix Fixe Brasserie. While they do have well priced set menus, they also offer à la carte. They are located in Soho, near Chinatown, so really not far from the Covent Garden area. There are tables on the pavements but we wanted to be indoors a little isolated from the street. Inside, it is decorated in a rustic way (well used wood floor) and we can guess the French tricolour flag from the red wall in the background, the blue counter and the white ceiling. There are some French related posters on the wall so definitely a French touch, but the staff we met were English.
Inside Prix Fixe
We had the 2 course set lunch at £8.90 with the soup of the day and stir fried shredded duck as starters, followed by a pork stew and a roast duck special (requiring a £6 supplement) as main courses. We had a bottle of sparkling water (£3.25) and a glass of red wine (sélection du sommelier £4.50). The wine was good, matching the duck nicely and the water was cold. They provided a complementary basket of freshly cut slices of baguettes with butter. The bread was excellent, which we took as a very good sign for the meal to follow.
Stir fried shredded duck
The stir fried shredded duck with mushrooms and garlic was quite good. It was served on a bed of lettuce, making quite an attractive presentation. I did not really notice any garlic flavour, but the duck and mushrooms seemed to have been cooked in some sort of soy-based marinade, which resulted in rather a strong flavour. Whilst it was very tasty, it might have been a little better had it been served with some clear flavoured accompaniment to provide a bit of balance to the dish.
Russian cabbage soup
The soup of the day was a Russian cabbage soup. Normally I rarely choose soup but I was interested by that one since I lived in Russia as a child in the seventies and have good memories of the food there. When the soup arrived, I expected to see a red soup but it was mostly white/brown! I confused it with the Russian borscht with beef and crème fraiche which is mostly based on beetroot. I was a little upset but actually this soup was quite good too and it also had the sour cream.
The main courses
Pork and chorizo stew
The pork and chorizo stew, served with carrot and parsnip was not at all what I expected. I had anticipated – from its name – a stew comprised of bits of pork with a little chorizo and vegetables. What actually arrived on my plate was a pork loin fillet accompanied by a chorizo stew and topped with carrot and parsnip. That was generally a pleasant surprise, and the pork fillet was very nicely cooked – not at all dry, as can often happen with pork. Likewise, the parsnip and carrot were perfectly cooked. I wasn’t too fond of the chorizo stew though, which was just too much chorizo and – as one might expect – quite greasy. It was easy enough to eat the pork with only a little of the chorizo though, so really nothing much to complain about.
The duck (a magret de canard) with honey was served with a gratin dauphinois and some pak choi which is a variant of bok choy. I asked for it to be cooked medium and it was perfectly cooked as it was still red and tender. In the UK meals have a tendancy to be so overcooked that it was a very nice surprice. It tasted very good too. Definitely worth the £6 supplement to the menu.
Cost and conclusion: it was £35.49 including the 12.5% service charge. As usual we wish it would not be automatically included and left to the client’s discretion. That said, they did deserve their tip. The service was excellent, with a friendly and attentive staff. The value for money on the set menus is outstanding, especially for central London. Prix Fixe Brasserie opened only 11 months ago, we wish for more restaurants like them in London! We will be back of course.