Brasserie Chavot, Mayfair

Eric Chavot is a French legend, and the Michelin stars have followed him to every kitchen he has stepped foot in. Following stints in various hotels and renowned restaurants in London he has opened his own brasserie, in his own style, on Conduit Street W1. Previously critic AA Gill has proclaimed his cooking “as good as you can eat in London” and Marco Pierre White described him as “the best in London without a doubt”. So I guess it is hardly surprising that his newest venture, Brasserie Chavot is such a success. I eagerly antipated the culinary excellence, counting down the days to my visit.

To start we opted for the bizarre but intriguing, Snails Bouruignon with meatball and potato espuma and the less complicated Charcuterie selection. The snails arrived in a magical steaming pot of foam, wondrous layers of meaty goodness and creamy sauce, ideal for a cold winter meal. The feast of charcuterie was a challenge to finish, prettily presented on a newspaper covered board, every kind of salami with cornichons and terrine. I couldn’t help thinking what good value this array was for just £11.50.

Brasserie Chavot offers delicate and delicious recipes, the kind of dishes I tear out of magazines and put up on my notice board in the hope that one day I might make the effort and try them out in my own kitchen. Poussin for instance, why have I never tried this dainty little bird at home? It is such a treat… I relished the garlic and lemon drenched meat and the crispy, crunchy, salty skin. The star of the show though, as our waiter had subtly pointed out, was the rump of Oison venison with honey glazed root vegetables. This dish was cooked to perfection, and I am still regretting not choosing It myself. My guest was silent as he devoured the soft rich caramelised meat and vegetables. My regular mouthful stealing caused a Jackson Pollock-esque mess on the white tablecloth, but it was worth it. Creamy mash, pomme frites and broccoli were all just as scrumptious, as I’d expect from a French master of cooking, if I had to choose one it would be the mash which was impressively smooth and silky.

Chavot offers classic French puddings that are executed immaculately. My crème brulee was aromatically flavoured with hundreds of specks of real vanilla, whilst the chocolate-caramel ice-cream was a childish delight with a touch of sophistication.

No-one is pretentious or pompous in this restaurant… a bustling beautiful dining room filled with foodies enjoying faultless creations. Deservedly Michelin starred food in a blissfully casual environment, Brasserie Chavot is my kind of restaurant, I can’t wait to return.

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