Christmas menus have already started springing up all over London’s Square Mile, but we have always been fans of the Brasserie Blanc French iteration at Threadneedle Street.
Yes, they still have the obligatory roast turkey with chestnut stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce and Brussels sprouts (the sprouts are to die for) – but there is much more to it here.
The whole Christmas spectacle has a great French twist – this is the home of famous chef Raymond Blanc after all.
You can properly treat yourself and your hardworking colleagues with French Champagne or simply opt for the more affordable Prosecco alternative. Then get yourselves around the roast pumpkin soup, the 80’s retro prawn cocktail (which we are glad to see making a mini comeback) or the classic pork terrine.
The terrine comes with a whole array of different pickles, some chutney and deep-fried kale. We could have eaten an entire bowl of the kale – it was that good. And, with pickles and ferments having their day in the sun right now, this dish just makes so much sense. It’s a great way to start off a festive affair.
You can be a traditionalist and go for turkey as a main – many of the old school City of London workers wouldn’t even entertain the idea of anything else. And, this is a damn good version. As is essential for any Christmas menu in the UK.
But we are all about the duck leg confit. The super tender duck meat just falls off the bone, while the skin retains its form and texture. Of course, the French know how to cook duck well.
It served on a bed of spiced crushed potatoes, floating in a red curry sauce which is not too overpowering. It’s a superb fusion dish which still holds onto its homegrown French roots.
Vegetarians will also be glad to see an option which isn’t a nut roast. They are everywhere these days and are more often than not very dry and dull.
The Moroccan spiced vegetables with lentils, chickpeas and an almond and pistachio cous cous is just so much better. It isn’t a mere after thought. They’ve spent some time letting the vegetarians enjoy their Christmas dinner too. Lucky sods.
Then you have the all too necessary desserts. Well, less necessary and more overindulgent. You can’t go past a classic apple crumble – with Brasserie Blanc popping some fresh cherries and almonds to the mix. We would have preferred bountiful amounts of custard instead of vanilla ice cream, but it still did the trick.
The steamed treacle sponge pudding was also a massive win. It’s covered in plentiful amounts their festive orange and Cointreau sauce and topped with a good dollop of salted caramel ice cream. It was a cracking combo. Sweet, salty and orangey. Hitting the table steaming hot too.
Pair the whole merry affair with a few bottles of their international wines (with a heavy focus on the French favourites of course) and some digestive espressos and you’re sorted. Use the caffeine fix to carry on the party to one of the many bars dotted about the Square Mile – or even the main Brasserie Blanc bar situated at the front of the restaurant.
Tis’ the season for gluttony after all. And the French know exactly how to do it in style.