The third installment of the never-ending Gastronomic Ultra-Marathon that was Eugene's farewell. After hearing him rave about it for the longest time i.e. since I arrived in London, we had to make this one of the stops on the list of must-eats. Since it's tucked away in some corner of Wandsworth (SW17!!) and not exactly accessible by public transport, we rented a Streetcar for the evening for our journey there. The journey there and back was another adventure in itself since it entailed me trying to drive a manual car (but that story is not for here).
Chez Bruce is located on a street of quaint shops and restaurants, Bellevue Road, in a quiet fairly residential neighbourhood. The dining room itself was cosy, and was surprisingly full for a Monday night. After we were seated, the first thing I noticed was that the crowd was predominantly female, probably 90%. There were groups of women laughing, enjoying a good girly catch-up over good food and wine or perhaps Bruce is an exceptionally charming man!
We ordered the prix fixe menu, priced at £42.50 for 3 courses, which is very reasonable considering that you get a good selection of dishes to choose from, about 8-10 for each course. They change their menu very regularly, in fact I just looked online for the menu, and it's almost completely different! Great for diners who eat there often!
For starters, we had a beef cheek tagliatelle and two types of fish cake and fritters. I can't recall exactly the menu names and items, but I do recall that the tagliatelle was full of flavour and really left you wanting more and the fish was very fresh. Eugene had a panfried seabass for his main and I ordered a wild mushroom vol au vent. While I was very pleased with the medley of mushrooms and puff pastry, what blew me away was the jerusalem artichokes that was served with it. It wasn't even listed on the menu, probably something seasonal they threw in but I loved the texture and deep chestnut-ty flavour of the jerusalem artichoke. I think it was the first time I ever tasted it and forgive my gastronomic ignorance, I didn't know it wasn't an artichoke! Well, guess I liked it because it didn't taste like one (though somehow I had guessed it was an artichoke, without knowing they weren't related)!
For dessert, because we were both very stuffed, we ordered the lighter ice-cream (honeycomb ice cream and passionfruit ice cream) dishes on the menu despite there being amazingly delicious sounding desserts like fondants, cakes and puddings. Next time perhaps, and there will definitely be a next time because Chez Bruce is a restaurant I can imagine myself going back again and again.
2 Bellevue Road
London, SW17 7EG
020 8672 0114