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Zedel’s – A Traditional French Food Lovers’ Find
With Christmas around the corner;there is no better time to try an alternative to turkey, and celebrate in a grand and refined setting. So many of London’s much loved dining and night spots have now been replaced – so its with a pang of nostalgia to re-visit a longstanding dining spot in an opulent setting, with a salacious menu to match. In the heart of London’s theatre and clubland; Zedels is a stylish and original ‘grande brasserie’ that doesn’t demand too much of a hefty price tag.
You can really make an entrance here. Whilst not as salubrious as the Wolseley; with whom its shares its’ owners it really strives to offer a timeless service orientated approach and has a really original appeal. The doors are thrown open for you by top hat and tail staff; and you are directed to whether you want to take a seat in the American Bar or to your table in the opulency of the main dining room; with its ornate high ceilings and marble columns typifying its 1930’s art deco origins.
The dishes are bursting with French flavours and rustic rather than just exquisitely presented. You can go to town on the Alsacienne charcuterie and ‘choucroute’- which is on a par with the Wolseley, or go full out on a South of France speciality ‘cassoulet de confit de canard’ which is a typical regional dish of a roasted duck on a bed of white beans and sausage, swimming in a delicious sauce. Mains start at £23.00 but stretch as far out as £37.00 if you want chateaubriand to share; which realistically is the case for a lot of good restaurants.
Front of house is exceptional here in terms of making you welcome but once at the table its a different story. There is a very obvious hierarchy in the hospitality team and they seem to be forever busy but not as attentive to what should be going on with the tables in terms of where you are at with your meal. This could be however; due to the fact that the space is quite expansive, and there were probably not enough waiting staff to cater to the 240 covers.
For starters my salade of chevre chaude was wolfed down on its bed of well dressed lettuce. My perfectly mixed steak tartare was fine and not too spicey but I was slightly taken aback that as well as Tabasco – Lee and Perrins was brought to the table to add to it.
But when I started to tuck into my main course of steak tartare with pommes frites and a salade verte – there was a rush to come over to try to whisk the table cloth away; whilst what I actually wanted was the wine list back. My companion was over an hour late; which was really why I could only entertain myself on listening to the band and people watch as well as enjoying a pichet of red wine. When she did finally arrive at 10.50pm and luckily so, since the kitchen takes orders up until 12am; she chose the not very exciting sea bream. Understandably, having been touring the back streets of Soho in an attempt to find it she made her choice quite quick.
This grand brasserie has carved out a longstanding niche for itself as a refined setting for an upmarket take on an authentic regional French bistro, with lots of choice. With all the ingredients for a good night out – its a step back into another era and lots of fun with its lively atmosphere as well. Whilst not as bon marche as its fans make out as the bill came to £143.00 for 2 with mid range wine. But its’ selection of regional French dishes that are wholesome, hearty and satisfying and a complexed and varied wine list that make it a night to remember. Once you factor in the exquisite setting and its Central London location; it remains a sought after choice for dinner and elegant entertainment combined.
Zedels Brasserie is located at
20 Sherwood Street
London W1F ZED