Blanchette - Soho
Blanchette is the new French bistro on the block. Embedded in the streets of Soho, you could almost miss it amongst the crowd. This is the new offering from three brothers Maxime, Yannis and Malik Alary, benefitting from consultancy from the much established (and Foodie For Thought favourites) Salt Yard Group. But it really has a style of its own. The only massive similarity is the layout and concept of the menu. Other than that, Blanchette holds its own. I don’t know what the critics are on about, but this place gets my vote.
I was immediately sold on the interior when I stepped in. It’s as if I walked into a kitchen from the pages of House and Garden; French, very quaint, with bare brick walls, stripped furniture and Frenchified knick knacks adorning the tables. For me, they’ve nailed it. The atmosphere is extremely calming and casual (and pretty girlie may I add).
It’s refreshing to have a French tapas place around, Spanish and Italian has been done, and very well might I add, but the small French bistro sharing plates really work.
We devoured the following:
An abundance of cheese and cured meat boards.
Seared Peppered Tuna with Wild Garlic Greens and Piperade - this even won over the non fish eater at the table
Baked Scallop with Café de Paris Butter - heavenly
Chou Farci of Braised Beef Shin with Spring Vegetable - arrives wrapped in a cabbage leaf and was a parcel of pure delight
Chargrilled Marinated Chicken with White Beans, Savoy Cabbage and Smoked Aioli - I’m not exaggerating when I say this is some of the best chicken I’ve ever tasted; moist and packed with plenty of flavour from those beans and aioli.
Grilled Beef Onglet with Snails en Persillade, Salsify Chips and Red Wine Sauce - this melted in my mouth, and is a charming take on beef bourguignon. Who knew it could be done so delicately?
Frites and Béarnaise - the table were massive fans of béarnaise and we were not disappointed. I hate to say it but I could eat these by the bucket load, and we practically did.
Asparagus with Cervelle de Canut and Aged Comté - a really elegant vegetable dish and tasted super fresh.
As mentioned above it’s the quirkiness of the place that really intrigued me and drew me in. Just look at how they serve their milk! (token porcelain cow milk holder shot). And the bread comes in a brown paper bag - not something all restaurants would do. It’s something so charming which brings a smile to your face and encourages conversation around the table. Top tip - go to the bathrooms and you’re in for a tongue in cheek feast for the eyes with the naughty wallpaper on display.
Come here for a super chilled atmosphere with your girls or on a romantic date to remind you of Parisian days gone by. If that doesn’t convince you the staff are a treat for the eyes (as one of the diners made very clear). Don’t listen to what the critics are saying - go see for yourself and you really won’t be disappointed. This is classic French cooking served in a quirky, charming style.
Discover more here (and enjoy the music) http://www.blanchettesoho.co.uk/#