Bouchon Breton, Spitalfields Market, London
The main attraction here is probably the cheese cart, a broad selection of fairly well conditioned cheeses, knowledgeable server. I couldn't miss out on the Vacherin Mont d'Or, fairly runny and ripe, rich and elegantly pungent. Livarot was also in good condition, very slightly nutty with a good dose of barnyard. Morbier was a little lighter but also deep in its own way. Finally, a firm and creamy blue (forgot which type, maybe Saint Agur, but not sure), almost spicy and sweet in its blue pungence.
Foie gras terrine is minimalist in approach - a slab of terrine in the centre of the plate, corners with black pepper and seas salt. Rich dense, and almost creamy, but with a very faint shadow of sourness, perhaps some vinegar or cider? Fine but nothing great. And needs a sweet wine to balance it.
French onion soup comes in a little tureen of bubbling gruyere on top, with a stocky broth, sweet and savoury from the caramelised onions, and a tiny bit too much tang from what I thought was cider.
Croque monsieur is a very credible rendition of the classic but not very much in terms of serving size.
Profiteroles with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce were decent - nothing wrong at all, even if they weren't the absolute best of their kind in terms of the choux.
On the whole, nothing special but nothing bad.
I was here a few weeks ago for lunch and agree it was nothing special, but nothing bad. I had the lamb rack which was cooked perfectly pink and delicious but a bit on the small side (for £16 or so). Other diners were equally happy with their meals - steak tartare, prepared at the table was good, the roast chicken very good. Only complaint was the wait for one of the mains - it arrived 10 minutes after everyone else received theirs. Didnt manage the cheese cart but it looked amazing - I believe they have their own cheese guy (not sure of the name - like a sommelier but for cheese).
I actually had the worst meal I've had in one year living in London here. My friend and I booked through the Toptable offer of 2 courses for £10 for a pre-theatre meal. They were playing French electropop when we entered which was quite fun, but then changed to Tracey Chapman. In an empty restaurant (we were the only table). On a Saturday night. It was depressing to say the least. Despite us having dinner at 5pm and the deal being from 4pm-10pm, they said they'd run out of the offer, and would instead give us 20% off food. We were already a bit put off, but ordered the seafood pasta, thinking it's well-known for seafood so it should be a decent meal. Overcooked pasta, bathing in cream, with mussels still with their beards attached, and 2 small prawns with the shell on over the top. This is what I expect of a 'seafood' pasta from those cheap cafes you see in tourist traps. No seasoning. No offer of grated pepper (and none on the table, and ages to get the waiter's attention for some, just to give a little taste to the dish). We left most of it.
We'd also ordered 'bread, butter and almonds' and 'saucisson cornichons'. The bread and butter arrived, no almonds. When I asked if the almonds were coming, the waitress snapped 'of course!'. No almonds ever came. The saucisson cornichons came with our pastas instead of with our cocktails. Absolutely ridiculous, and the bill still came to £50-odd. When you can get really decent food in London for around a tenner, this left me really angry.