Jfood at Le Boudin Blanc (London) - Very Nice French Bistro in Shepherd's Market
Le Boudin Blanc (5 Trebeck St.) is a multi-story bistro located at the western end of Shepherd’s Market. It has tables outside when the weather is nice and many rooms inside on multi-levels that you walk through as you proceed upstairs. Jfood viewed this as a cross between an English Pub and French Bistro atmosphere and was looking forward to a relaxing meal.
Appetizer – Since it was a French Bistro, Jfood ordered the Onion Soup (£5) to start. It was served in an enormous cauldron that was placed in front of Jfood. Atop was a nicely melted layer of cheese. The cheese was less sharp than Jfood expected and he does not believe it was Gruyere, more like a Havarti. The soup itself was very tasty but as Jfood has mentioned he finds the food in London a little under-seasoned and adding a little salt to the soup made it much more enjoyable. Unlike most places where Jfood has ordered onion soup, Jfood was very glad that La Boudin Blanc did not overload bread into the soup. Overall Jfood was very pleased with the soup.
Entrée – Jfood decided to go full out when he saw the Dover Sole Meuniere (£24.50). He ordered it off the bone and it arrived nicely presented, plain on a plate with a half of lemon nicely wrapped in gauze. The fish was moist, firm and succulent. A little lemon squeezed over the top and Jfood was in heaven. It was perfectly prepared in its simplicity. Like the other dish, Jfood found a little salt was required to make this dish more in line with Jfood's palate. Simply prepared and presented. Jfood highly recommends this dish.
Side – For a side Jfood ordered the pommes frites, why not? They were crispy, but again lacked the seasoning Jfood is used to, so the saltshaker was used again. Overall, the frites were good, but not great.
Dessert – Smiling ear to ear, Jfood decided to complete the meal with a slice of Tart Tartin with Vanilla Ice Cream (£5.95). Unfortunately it was a little disappointing. Jfood thought that the dessert chef allowed the caramel to cook a little too long and it crossed slightly into having a burnt/bitter flavor. This overpowered the apples. This was a fair tart tartin, and if Jfood returns, he would order a different dessert.
Service – Jfood and colleague arrived without a reservation and were greeted warmly and seated efficiently. The table service was very attentive, but the kitchen must have been slammed as the pacing was very slow. But with good conversation and several apologies, it was not a problem for our table. We worked a very long day and relaxation was a nice thing at the end of the day. But it did appear that other tables were getting a bit edgy waiting.
So Jfood's ratings:
Onion Soup – 8
Dover Sole – 9
Pomme Frites - 6
Tart Tartin – 4
Service – 10
Pacing from Kitchen – Very slow
Perhaps some diners don't want a lot of salt on their fish or other choices. It's not the healthiest of spices or seasonings. I've never found food underspiced in London, but you apparently have. In fact, I was amazed how the British use much more seasoning on everything than we do (generally) in the States.