After hours of shopping, traipsing up and down the streets of Oxford Circus, a good restaurant to lay down your weary head is hard to find. Cue Blanchette, the newest addition to the Soho food scene, with its intimate and charming French style being exactly the spot for a mid-shopping spree revival.
The interior is rustic and shabby chic, with exposed brick walls adorned with vintage music covers and similar knick-knacks. The place has a warm homely and welcoming feel to it, encouraged by the lovely waiting staff who explain the smaller plates, almost tapas-style of eating. We started with a classic Negroni, expertly mixed with a punchy hit of orange zest and a carafe of the crisp Domaine de Bellevue while snacking on Saucisse Seche, which was mildly peppery and accompanied by a bold celeriac remoulade and tart cornichons.
Along with that, we opted for the Terrine– wonderfully meaty and fatty, however slightly dense, and the Cheese Beignets with Onion Confit that were a mix of the extensive cheese list. The beignets were well made and beautifully light but the flavour was peculiar, possibly due the number of cheeses added, with an unusual spicy aftertaste.
Next arrived the Warm Confit of Salmon with Duck, Puy lentils and Herbs and Grilled Beef Onglet with Snails en Persillade, Salsify Chips and Red Wine Sauce. The fish, while delicately tender, smelled slightly past its peak but was saved by the lentils that packed huge flavour and depth. The beef and sauce were tasty with a briny freshness coming from the snails but the filo-wrapped salsify chips were unnecessary and slightly out of place. On the side, we enjoyed frites with an expertly made béarnaise, so much so that we needed a sauce refill.
For dessert the Chocolate and Hazelnut Dacquoise was a winner, with its layers of buttery chocolate, nutty meringue and crisp feuilletine base. It was perfectly accompanied by a rich and creamy hazelnut ice cream. We also had a portion of the firm and nutty Tomme de Savoie as well as the Bleu des Causses, its tangy notes cut by a sweet raisin preserve.
While there were a few minor errors with the food, the overall experience at Blanchette was a good one. It’s definitely a great spot to drop into while shopping or even for an after work drink. The wine list is extensive and they know how to mix a great cocktail. There’s a great vibe in the place and it is certain that any issues they had are just growing pains, no doubt within a little while Blanchettte will be flawless.
To book a table at Blanchette, 9 D’Arblay St London W1F 8DR, call (0)20 7439 8100 or for further information visit here.