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Bellevue Rendez-Vous restaurant, Wandsworth Common, London
Dec 16th, 2009 by Olivier

Bellevue Rendez-vous
218 Trinity Road, Wandsworth Common
SW17 7HP London

Bellevue Rendez-Vous

Bellevue Rendez-vous is my favourite local restaurant as I live just a few minutes walk away.  It is located in front of Wandsworth Common which is a great place if you are into “urban wildlife” photography (parakeets, many kinds of ducks, geese, coots, swans, herons and foxes in the evening) like me.

As starters we ordered the assiette de charcuterie (£6.50) and the scallops with open ravioles and mushroom sauce (£8.50).
As main courses we had the Mallard duck with artichoke mash and salsifi (£16) and a Venison fillet with pumpkin mash (was normally celeriac mash) and cep mushroom (£19). The desserts were a cooked pear with red wine (£5.50) and a chocolate fondant and vanilla ice cream (£6.50). The drinks were a glass of Pinot noir (£5.50) and half a litre of Badoit water (£2).

Scallops

Scallops

The scallops were very nicely cooked, as is the usual experience at this restaurant. On this occassion, they came served in a creamy mushroom sauce that was a very nice accompaniment. A very pleasant dish that I would not hesitate to take again.

Assiette de charcuterie

Assiette de charcuterie

The assiette de charcuterie was good, with some rillette, salami, ham and the cornichons to counter balance the taste. A good way to start dinner.

The main courses

The main courses

The duck

The duck

The mallard duck was the breast and a confit thigh, served with artichoke mash was excellent. The duck was beautifully cooked, just pink in the middle as requested, nicely tender and full of flavour. The mash and the parsnip strips it was served with were an excellent accompaniment that kept the meal nice and light. I could only have wished it was larger and would certainly order this meal again. The best duck I’ve had in a restaurant in the UK for quite some time.

Venison fillet

Venison fillet

The venison fillet was a little on the small side but tender and good with an excellent sauce. The taste of the venison was not overpowering as it can happen sometimes with that type of meat.

The desserts

The desserts

Cooked pear with red wine

Cooked pear with red wine

The cooked pear was very small, with an icecream on top of it. The taste of the wine was light but I did not find it mixed well with the icecream.

Chocolate fondant

Chocolate fondant

And it is indeed fondant (melting)

And it is indeed fondant (melting)

The chocolate fondant was up to its usual standard – with a lightly crispy outside and liquid centre. What I especially like here is that it is not too sweet, which is always a risk with chocolate. A nice end to the meal.

Cost and conclusion: it was £69.50 and they do not add automatically the service charge which is welcome, and rare in London. A good dinner, as usual should I add! The only problem I have is the menu that does not change often so as a local restaurant for me this is a little annoying but for anyone else, do not hesitate to go there! For more reviews about this restaurant, please visit the page listing restaurants in alphabetical order.

Bellevue Rendez-vous on Urbanspoon

Café du Village restaurant Bellevue Road Wandsworth Common London
Aug 28th, 2009 by Olivier

Café du Village
11 Bellevue Road, Wandsworth Common
London SW17 7EG

Café du Village

Café du Village (was The Brasserie)

Café du Village (was The Brasserie)

Inside, it is quite spacious.

Inside, it is quite spacious.

Interesting décor

Interesting décor

Café du Village (formerly The Brasserie) is a restaurant wonderfully located right in front of Wandsworth Common. It pretends to “offer great value cuisine with just a hint of French influence”. With the restaurants Chez Bruce next door and Bellevue Rendez-vous a minute walk away we certainly see more “French influence” in this area (not to mention the Café & patisserie l’Amandine there too). Actually the only true French restaurant is Bellevue Rendez-vous where the owners and staff are French. I think the staff at Café du Village were from Poland.

It is possible to eat outside but we prefered to go inside. It is spacious and smartly decorated although a little impersonal.

As starters we had the Moules Marinieres (Mussels with shallots in white wine with a dash of cream, served with a half baguette – £5.75) and a Garlic & mixed herb bread (£2.95).

As main courses we had a Poulet à l’Estragon (Pot-roasted chicken supreme with mushrooms, onion & bacon in a red wine & tarragon sauce – £10.95) and a Char-grilled Sirloin (21 day aged sirloin with French fries, new potatoes or mash – £16.95) with a Béarnaise sauce (£0.75). As drinks we had a small bottle of sparkling water (£2) and a large glass of an Argentinian 2007 Tarquino Malbec red wine (£7.75).

Other interesting main courses were the Salmon Fishcake (Oven baked fishcake with buttered spinach and a lemon & chive cream sauce – £9.50), the Calves Liver and Bacon (Pan-fried Dutch calves liver and bacon served with creamed potatoes and a red wine & port sauce – £12.95) or the Seafood Linguini (Pan-fried king prawns, squid, clams, mussels, garlic and chilli with an extra virgin olive oil & white wine sauce – £11.95).

Original presentation

Original presentation

The two starters

The two starters

The garlic bread to start was a little miserable. It was three slices of grilled baguette smothered in butter. There was very little garlic taste though, and overall it was just a little too greasy and overcooked.

Moules marinières

Moules marinières

The mussels were good but a little on the small side. Also, one or two were closed. It was a very rich meal with plenty calories because it was so creamy that the sauce was thick. I am into butter and cream so it was perfect for me but some people might find it overpowering.

The two main courses

The two main courses

Poulet à l’estragon

Poulet à l’estragon

Close-up

Close-up

The chicken with the taragon sauce was excellent! It was perfectly cooked with a crispy skin. The sauce with red wine and taragon was great. The bacon was good too, not too strong as can happen sometimes. I was quite pleased with this meal and the wine was very nice too.

Char-grilled Sirloin

Char-grilled Sirloin

The chargrilled sirloin was actually quite good – and better than its appearance in the photos might suggest. I had ordered this done ‘medium’ – which in the UK tends to mean overcooked. So it was on this occasion, which is just another reminder to me to ask for my meat rare when I want medium, or else I’ll get well done. Nonetheless, the meat was tender and with a nice flavour. The bearnaise sauce was also very good, and not greasy as can sometimes be the case. The mashed potato was excellent. Very nice and creamy, the right amount of butter, and beautifully textured. They were just the accompaniment, but they really made the dish.

Cost and conclusion: it was £53 including the “discretionary gratuity of 12.5%”. I am against this automatic gratuity added to the bill in many places in London, it should be left to the discretion of the client. That said, the service was friendly but very slow. It took a long time to get our starters. After, things went a bit better. The value for money is not bad, the food is decent and the location is fantastic. It is a good place for a pause after walking at the park, especially since they do snacks like croque monsieur, salads, breakfast, fish & chips etc. If you prefer to eat more authentic French dishes (boeuf bourguignon, confit de canard etc), Bellevue Rendez-vous is the place to go!

Café du Village Wandsworth on Urbanspoon

Pizza Express Wandsworth Common, 198 Trinity Road, London
Aug 3rd, 2009 by Olivier

Pizza Express Wandsworth Common
198 Trinity Road
London SW17 7HR

Pizza Express Wandsworth Common

Pizza Express

Pizza Express

Nice cold Peroni beer and sparkling water

Nice cold Peroni beer and sparkling water

Located next to Wandsworth Common and next to the excellent French restaurant Bellevue Rendez-vous this Pizza Express is our closest pizzeria. It is nicely designed with plenty of space between tables and two open areas in front and in the rear.

We ordered two “Classic Pizza” but on a Romana base for an additional £1.20. As explained by Pizza Express “the differences between a Romana and a Classic are size, thickness and taste. The Romana and Classic pizza are made from the same dough but the Romana is stretched further, to 14 inches and cooked on a wire mesh. This gives the Romana an extraordinarily thin, crispy base and consequently, stronger flavours than the Classic.” Not sure about the stronger flavours but I certainly prefer thin base than the deep pan bread-like base…

The pizzas chosen were the Giardiniera (Asparagus, artichokes, mushrooms, fresh red peppers, santos tomatoes, olives and garlic – on a tomato and pesto sauce – £8.15 + £1.20) and the Fiorentina (Spinach, grana padano and a free range egg with garlic and olives – £7.55 + £1.20). As drink we had a Peroni Gran Riserva (£3.75) and a 500ml San Pellegrino mineral water (£2.20). 

The two pizzas

The two pizzas

The not so spicy chilli oil

The not so spicy chilli oil

Pizza Giardiniera on a Romana base

Pizza Giardiniera on a Romana base

The pizza Giardiniera was good. I am not exactly a vegetarian but a change is nice from time to time. The base was fine and the vegetables were decent. The taste of garlic was quite present which was nice. The only downside was some salty patches coming from the pesto sauce, but that was still a minor complaint.

Pizza Fiorentina

Pizza Fiorentina

The pizza Fiorentina was excellent (but still not matching the Fiorentina at Pizzeria Rustica in Richmond – let’s not dream!) with a perfectly cooked egg that was still lightly runny when broken. It had a nice mix of toppings, including spinach that actually still had some flavour. That makes an enormous difference for this sort of pizza.

Cost and conclusion: it was £24 in all. The pizzas were good and the surrounding is pleasant. As for the service this time, whilst they were friendly, they were incredibly slow despite not being at all busy (there were only a handful of customers that evening). It is not acceptable to have to wait 40 minutes for the bill to arrive, and then to wait even longer for someone to return so we could pay it! We could not wait anymore, so left our table and paid at the desk on the way out to speed things up. Still, if you are in the area and are looking for a pizza, this is a very decent place. Thirty metres away you have Bellevue Rendez-vous which is one of our favourite French restaurants.

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Bellevue Rendez-vous Trinity Road Wandsworth Common London
Jul 28th, 2009 by Olivier

French restaurant Bellevue Rendez-vous
218 Trinity Road, Wandsworth Common
London SW17 7HP

Bellevue Rendez-vous

DSCN0882a

Bellevue Rendez-vous is a great local restaurant for those living around Wandsworth Common. It is owned by a couple who really work hard to provide an excellent friendly service. I have not reviewed every time I went there (over 10 times easily) but it has always been a nice relaxing dining experience. This time Pablo the chef was ill but his replacement managed to still provide a good dinner. For more reviews about this place, please take a look at the page of restaurants listed by alphabetical order.

We ordered a 3 course set menu at £19 for one, and the rest was à la carte. As starters we had a quiche and a foie gras (£8). As main course we had a boeuf bourguignon and a bavette (£13). For desserts we had a gâteau de Pablo and a fondant au chocolat (£6.50). We also had a 1/2 litre of sparkling water Badoit (£2) and a glass of house red wine (£4.50).

The two starters

The two starters

Foie gras et chutney

Foie gras et chutney

La quiche

La quiche

The foie gras was a quite big piece! It was very good, smooth and tasty. With the sliced baguette, it was a great starter. The bread here has always been fresh and light. The quiche, sadly, was a bit overdone. A shame, since it had a nice light pastry and tasty filling – but even if still quite edible, was not up to the usual standard here.

The main courses

The main courses

Boeuf bourguignon et gratin dauphinois

Boeuf bourguignon et gratin dauphinois

Bavette aux échalottes et pommes de terre sautées

Bavette aux échalottes et pommes de terre sautées

The main courses were good. The bavette (flank of beef) was perfectly cooked, a little burnt and crispy on the outside and red without being bloody inside. The shallots on top were a good balance to the meat. The potatoes could have been better cooked, but then the chef Pablo was exceptionally not there as explained above. Normally they are very hot and lightly crispy. This time they were mildly hot. The boeuf bourguignon was also very good. It is a simple dish, full of strong rich flavours – definite comfort food. It was served with rich creamy potatoes gratin dauphinois, which were a perfect accompaniment.

The desserts

The desserts

Gâteau de Pablo

Gâteau de Pablo

Fondant au chocolat

Fondant au chocolat

Close-up

Close-up

The desserts were good, especially the fondant au chocolat. When you break the shell you have a nice hot melting chocolate that matches well with the vanilla ice cream. If you are into chocolate, this dessert is highly recommended! The gâteau de Pablo was light and a perfect way to end the diner. The presentation was a little less good than usual for the reason mentioned earlier.

Cost and conclusion: it was £53. At the bottom of the menu it is written a 12.5% service charge is added to rude people. We managed to escape it by being friendly enough ;-) So there is no “discretionary” service charge included in the bill as many restaurants rudely do. We really like that and restaurants like Bellevue Rendez-vous should be supported for following that policy. Highly recommended!

Bellevue Rendez-vous on Urbanspoon

French restaurant Bellevue Rendez-vous, 218 Trinity Road, Wandsworth Common, London
May 26th, 2009 by Olivier

French restaurant Bellevue Rendez-vous
218 Trinity Road, Wandsworth Common
SW17 7HP London

Bellevue Rendez-vous

Reviewed on Tuesday 26 May 2009

French restaurant Bellevue Rendez-vous

French restaurant Bellevue Rendez-vous

We have been many times in this excellent French restaurant next to Wandsworth Common (click here for the previous review done 8 May 2009).

First courses: the scallops were excellent!  They arrived piping hot, and were beautifully crispy on the outside, with perfectly cooked inner and nicely tender coral. The presentation was very pleasing, as the scallops came in their shells. I love scallops, and these were amongst the best I’ve had in a long time – so certainly memorable and excellent value.  The parma ham and celeriac was also very good, and also with a pleasing presentation. The celeriac was very light and made a nice complement to the ham (possibly a touch of vinaigrette may have enhanced).

In main meals – both were excellent. The rabbit was perfectly cooked, sliding easily off the bone. The meat was wonderfully tender, whilst the outside was nicely browned and flavoursome. Rabbit is an excellent meat (which I’ve had several times in this resturant) that makes a wonderful meal when as well cooked as it was here.  What is really nice about this restaurant is their flexibility and readiness to suggest dishes you may like. The salmon was not technically on the menu – but after some discussion with Pablo (chef and owner) about a pan-fried cod and other dishes, we accepted the suggestion of pan-fried salmon instead. It was a good choice! The salmon was cooked to perfection – with a fantastically crispy skin and moist tender inside. The sauce was wonderfully creamy with a hint of ratatouille sauce giving a nice touch. The 2006 Cahors wine was very pleasing.

Great olives

Great olives

Nice Cahors wine

Nice Cahors wine

Scallops

Scallops

Parma ham with celeriac

Parma ham with celeriac

The two starters

The two starters

Panfried salmon with asparagus

Panfried salmon with asparagus

Rabbit with white asparagus and endives

Rabbit with white asparagus

Fondant au chocolat

Fondant au chocolat

Gâteau de Pablo

Gâteau de Pablo

The two desserts

The two desserts

Cost and conclusion: it was £71.50 for a 3 course meal for two, with a bottle of Cahor red wine (£17) and an espresso (£1.50). The service charge is not included into the total bill which is nice and should be followed by all restaurants. We think this place offers the best value for money in London and it is very reliable. It is about the 10th time we come here and the meals were always good.

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