Brasserie Zedel - London
Agree with most posts here. Went on Saturday night and was hugely disappointed. I very much enjoyed the Delaunay, so was hoping for similar standards of food and service, but it was terrible. Tiny portions of mediocre food and service so chilly it was verging on rude.
In particular, the pate de campagne was unpalatably cold and served without any toast/bread (fortunately there were a couple of slickes left in the bread basket). Confit duck with lentils was fine, if miniscule. Beef bourgignon tasted good but had about three pieces of beef in it. Profiteroles seemed stale.
Saving grace is that it was cheap, but equally, I think there are better meals to be had at that price point in Soho that won't leave you feeling in need of a bag of chips on the way home!
I've been a few times subsequently (from my first semi-positive experience), and have come to hate the place. I'm even off the room (too cavernous, no natural light).
The service is absolutely atrocious, and the food is mediocre. My last experience was with my whole family (and we'd eaten at Delauney the night before), and it was an absolute nightmare.
I'll chime in to add another vote to the mild diappointment camp. I think most of my complaints mainly came down to sloppiness, though admittedly at £65 for two coursses for two people, with almost half of that on wine, wasn't really expecting a huge amount.
Fish soup was nice enough, but rouille was virtually non existant on a tiny dried up piece of bread and had developed a skin from obviously sitting around backstage for too long.
Onion soup had two tiny croutons with a pinch of dried out cheese. Though admittedly it was only £3 or so.
Confit duck was OK and puy lentils were good but was not quite cooked long enough and consequently skin lacked proper crispness and there was far too much unrendered fat.
Steak hache was served pink (thankfully) but still retained a dryness- could do with more fat in the mix. The Sauce au poivre had an unpleasant taste like it had slightly rancid cream or butter in it.
No problem with service, wine was very reasonable for just under £30.
I liked that they offered a chilled jug of tap water on arrival and didn't try to up-sell.
It was still better than many chain-type offerings at similar prices, and wasn't so bad that I would never go back if I was nearby and hungry, but I certainly wouldn't go out of my way to return (barring an existing commitment to check out the choucroute).
The atmosphere and room make up for the shortcomings assuming you order wisely.
I found the herring to be excellent., as was the celeriac remoulade. My rib-eye steak wasn't good, but the frites were great. Couscous with lamb liver was very tasty, as was the beet salad.
I think its a great place to go for cocktails and appetizers, perhaps ordering enough to make a full meal out of petit plats. It's cheap enough to get many small dishes, and lots of drink, without it being a serious night out.
We were there last night. I think I'll go along with your assessment. The place has a huge and friendly staff and the prices are certainly low for London (£2.50 for most side dishes). I wouldn't return there if I wanted a truly, delicious French meal, but my spatchcocked poussin and my husband's rabbit were far from awful, and the tarte citron was small but enjoyable. They had removed the Paris Brest I wanted to try but c'est la vie. I think it's the old story... one gets what they pay for. I have tried the cafe upstairs once, and got a really nice-sized sandwich of good jambon and a good capuccino.
This place seems to oversalt their salads - didn't like that at all.