Sunday, February 02, 2014

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Café Richoux (Mayfair)

A brief walk away from Bond Street Tube station is this delightful French patisserie and café, which I cannot recommend enough. Whether it’s breakfast, brunch, dinner or lunch you’re after, you’d do well to give this place a visit.

As it was early afternoon that I went there, I figured it wasn’t too late for an eggs benedict. The last time I had an eggs benedict in a restaurant was in Smollensky’s back in September 2012. I’d thought that was pretty fantastic, but the Richoux one just blew it out of the water. I’d requested to have the eggs soft, as runny eggs with the yolk all yellow is one of my favourite things to consume. They’d cooked it to that level, and better. And the salmon that was served with it was brilliant as well – no Sainsbury’s salmon there. At £12.95, the dish wasn’t cheap, but you definitely get what you pay for here, and that is quality, quality, quality. Even the salad on the side was perfect; the little sprinkle of balsamic on top elevated it above the usual bog standard out-of-the-pack rabbit food.

For dessert, I had three macaroons, chocolate, vanilla and lavendar. Pretty much a given considering we were in a French café. However, since my nightmare experience in the unbelievably pretentious and up-its-own-arse Ladurée, I’ve approached macaroons with some trepidation. Fortunately, the macaroons here actually tasted good. So light I felt like I was floating, yet conversely, deliciously creamy. The lavender in particular, was a delight, both because of the rarity of the flavour, and also the blend of biscuit and filling.

As you may have noticed, I am generally quite a grumpy food-blogger. If I’ve shelled out for a meal and the slightest thing goes wrong, I’ll remember it and jot it down so I can bitch about the restaurant’s shortcomings on my blog with the venom of the deadliest snake. That's just how this Chinalady rolls. However, I genuinely do not have a single gripe with Café Richoux. Tasty, elegant dishes, and a great vibe, this is exactly how French dining in London should be. Simply put, everything Ladurée aspires to, and fails to be.

Grade: A

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