Boulestin … spontaneous simplicity

When I visited: January 2015

Location: London, Mayfair

Team: Joel Kissin (restauranteur), Elliot Spurdle (Head Chef)

Rating in the Michelin Guide: Not in Guide

Dining Owl Hoot rating: 3/5

What to wear: Men – jeans or nice trousers and a shirt; women – jeans and a smart top or a smart dress

Ambience: Smart/casual, quite big

Course of the meal: Pan fried scallops with artichokes and black truffle

If I could change one thing: Serve desserts at the same time as each other


Sometimes I go to certain restaurants on short notice, being the partner Owl of an Owl that loves to eat high-quality food whenever the opportunity arises. This was one of those restaurants which responded by first letting us in, then serving up great smart/casual French food at fairly good value.

We had the dinner a la carte menu, and were both given a glass of Amazon champagne for free to start us off (always a good start …). We selected a Chablis (Premier Cru) white wine to go with the meal and given a mini French baguette each with chocolate to keep us going while our main food was prepared.

I did the typical Dining Owl thing of going for scallops as a starter (pan fried, with artichokes and black truffle) while my partner Owl had a sumptuous chestnut and mushroom soup. For mains, we had baby chicken, baby carrots, spinach and green beans, and Boulestin’s duck-soaked special: roast canard with red cabbage, duck pate and duck pie. For desserts, we had a chocolate fondant with creme fraiche (worth the 15-minute wait) and Sauternes custard with prunes soaked in Armagnac (which was brought out first in a rare faux pas). Our green tea to help us digest all this heavy French fare was accompanied with gorgeously right vanilla madeleines as petits fours.

If you find yourself at a loose end and in need of good-value, high-quality French food, consider giving Boulestin a call.

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