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Le Bouchon Bordelais – French restaurant on Battersea Rise near Clapham Junction, London
Nov 9th, 2009 by Olivier

Le Bouchon Bordelais
5-9 Battersea Rise
London SW11 1HG

Le Bouchon Bordelais

Le Bouchon Bordelais

Le Bouchon Bordelais

Another view

Another view

Inside

Inside

Le Bouchon Bordelais is a restaurant located on Battersea Rise, not far from the popular Pizza Metro located on the other side of the road. It has a terrace on the foothpath, useful for smokers. Inside, on the left side it is the bar where you can go support the French football team 😉 and on the right side, isolated from the bar, is the restaurant area. It is nicely decorated, feeling normally French and not overdone like in some restaurants.

We ordered as starters the Vol au vent garni de St Jasques et Trompette des Morts (Scallop and trompette des mort vol au vent) and La Frisee aux Lardons Oeuf Poche (curly Endive Salad with Lardons and a Poached Egg). As main courses we had the Filet de Loup de Mer, Pommes Ecrasees aux Cebettes, Pomery Beurre Blanc (Panfried Seabass Filet, with Crushed Potatoes and Spring Onions,  served with a Mustard Butter Sauce) and an Escalope de Veau servie avec Cepes sautees et Pommes de Terres en Raclette (Veal escalope with garlic sauted ceps, potatoes with raclette). The desserts were a tarte tatin and a chocolate fondant. As drink we had a bottle of Badoit and a glass of red wine (Merlot) which was decent.

One thing to mention here. We both wanted the 2 courses mushroom based menu at £25 but my first choice for starter which was the Terrine de Campagne , servie avec Chanterelle et gelee de Porto (Farmhouse Country side terrine served with chanterelle mushrooms and port Jelly) was not available and the main course I first chose which was the Filet de Cabillaud servie avec Girolle Sauce (Pan fried cod filet, spinash with pan fried Girolles in garlic) was not available either. I was told they were not available 3 minutes after we ordered. More precisely I was told after 3 minutes the main course was not available so I chose another one (the panfried seabass) and then the waiter came back to tell me my starter was not available either. Well, in a normal restaurant they tell the clients about the missing meals when giving the menus so it was a messy start from the cook who should have told the waiting staff about it. At least the next clients were told about the missing meals early enough.

Not great bread

Not great bread

One thing I really find annoying is to pay for bread, especially in a French restaurant. It reminds me the cover charges in Italy for the bread and butter and I do not think I have ever paid for bread in a restaurant in France. Right, we are not in France but in the UK – but even in London most other French restaurants do not charge for bread… Well, here the bread was on the dry side which really was annoying. At Bellevue Rendez-vous or Le P’tit Normand you get excellent bread and they do not charge for it.

The starters

The starters

Scallop and trompette des mort vol au vent

Scallop and trompette des morts vol au vent

Curly Endive Salad with Lardons and a Poached Egg

Curly Endive Salad with Lardons and a Poached Egg

La Frisee aux Lardons Oeuf Poche was not bad, with nice bacon and a perfectly cooked egg but unfortunately there was too much dressing so some croutons were soaked with vinaigrette and not crispy at all.

The scallop and mushroom vol au vent was quite good, though the mushrooms weren’t terribly noticable (I think they were in the sauce). Actually it was a solo scallop inside a nice flaky pastry vol au vent. The scallop itself was a bit salty, but it combined well with the very un-salty pastry, so overall was a nice dish. It was accompanied by some steamed spinach, which went rather well with the mushroom sauce.

The main courses

The main courses

Veal escalope with garlic sauted ceps, potatoes with raclette

Veal escalope with garlic sauted ceps, potatoes with raclette

Panfried Seabass Filet

Panfried Seabass Filet

The panfried seabass fillet was good, with a lovely buttery sauce. The flesh was firm and tasty. My minor complaint here is about the skin which could have been crispy, like at they do so well at Chez Lindsay in Richmond. Here it was somewhat soggy.

The veal dish was a little bit uninteresting. I can’t really say bland, since the mushrooms were a bit too salty and the veal had quite a strong flavour also. The potatoes certainly were bland though – in fact some boiled and halved potatoes held together in a circular arrangement with a small amount of over-grilled cheese (not at all what I had expected from something described as raclette). Overall, not offensive, but far from the best veal dish I’ve ever had (which is a shame, as veal can be a very nice meal).

The desserts

The desserts

Chocolate fondant

Chocolate fondant

Melting chocolate

Melting chocolate

Tarte tatin

Tarte tatin

The chocolate fondant was excellent. It was nicely presentated, the chocolate was melting well when the shell was broken and it was not too sweet. It was matching well with the ice cream.

The tarte tatin was quite good – a good choice of apples (neither too sweet nor too bitter) and a freshly made pastry base. I think just a little overcooked though, which was a bit of a shame as the pastry was thus a bit dry and hard on the edges.

Cost and conclusion: it was £83.50 including the 12.5% service charge. Average food, nothing outstanding and the prices on the high side. The service was friendly and polite but obviously the communication within the staff isn’t very efficient.

Le Bouchon Bordelais on Urbanspoon


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