Brasserie One

by Marcus Sedghi - Thursday July 15, 2010 11:24 am

One Great George Street Westminster, London SW1P 3AA www.brasserieone.com

The next station is Westminster,” announces the rather too cheerful female voice on the tube. Nobody can possibly enjoy travelling on the tube when the weather is this hot. It’s like a sauna, except the steam has been replaced by body odour. Yet for some reason the Jubilee line seems slightly cooler. I’m sure someone out there knows why, I’m not particularly fussed; I’m simply going to adjust all my travelling via the Jubilee line from now on.

This was my first trip to Westminster tube station. A few hundred yards down the road is where I shall be eating lunch, Brasserie One at One Great George Street. I’m glad it’s only a short walk but it’s made all the more energetic by having to stop, duck, side-step, walk round, hustle and ultimately avoid interrupting those wonderful tourist photos.

The building is a grand old thing. In fact it’s an award-winning four-domed Edwardian building and the magnificence is evident.  I’m greeted by Listor, my host for the lunch, who I had met two weeks prior at a networking party. We walk down a flight of stairs and are faced with two entrance doors, one to a café where Costa coffee is served, and the other to a rather more elegant dining venue, Brasserie One.

It’s a steady day for the restaurant, not over-crowded but not a ghost town, it’s just right, which seems to be a recurring theme throughout the lunch. The layout of the restaurant is not over the top, but not too scruffy. The staff are friendly and polite but not too invasive. The menu has plenty of choice but at very reasonable prices. It’s a notable beginning, now let’s get the grub in!

The waiter offers his thoughts on the dishes and states what the soup of the day and the special are for this lunch. Both sound pretty good and so I decide to punt for each. Listor also opts for the soup but differs on the main. The atmosphere is welcoming and allows for good conversation. As we swap opinions and stories I realise Listor is a true foody and has a remarkable affection for food on Wednesdays.

Starter arrives in the form of vegetable soup, the soup of the day. The texture is similar to puree, not totally liquidised, and is my particular favourite texture for soup, probably because that’s how my mum does soups. Full of flavour and seasoned well, I enjoyed the starter, apart from the drizzling of oil on the top of the soup that baffled me.

Main course was the special of the day, poached salmon with new potatoes, rocket salad and a sour cream and dill sauce. It’s a very simple dish with expertly cooked sections. The salmon was cold, which was unexpected, but was nice when accompanied by soft, fluffy potatoes and a peppery rocket leaf or two. No unnecessary drizzling of oil this time, a simple main that was clean, healthy and very pleasing.

After such a healthy starter and main course there’s plenty of opportunity to be devilish with dessert choice. The choices seem far too healthy to truly unleash my wicked side, but a recommendation by the waiter to sample the milk tart is welcomed and definitely appreciated. The tart was creamy, soft and marvellous.

A very good lunch and perhaps the most resounding reason being that everything is just right. The cooking is good, the dishes are well thought out, the atmosphere is spot-on and in all the feeling is that, for a lunch, Brasserie One is just right and definitely more enchanting than squashing into the nearest franchise chain outlet.

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