Les Deux Salons Debuts in Covent Garden

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One step into Les Deux Salons transports you to Paris, more specifically an oldy worldy Parisian Brasserie. The team behind Arbutus and Wild Honey, Anthony Demetre and Will Smith have opened a new French Brasserie in Covent Garden. No expense spared to transform this old bar into an aged French Brasserie, with antiqued mirrors, well spaced tables and all. The restaurant is on 2 floors with 250 covers, which is the largest venture for the team in London to date.

Les Deux Salons Covent Garden

A couple of Tweets were sent around when bookings opened and I secured a lunch booking on the first day, as it was the only day that my dining companion was free for lunch. On the day, we were the 3rd table to arrive and one of the first customers to be guinea pigs to test out their new team.

The first thing we noticed was that there were a lot of staff hovering around, looking bewildered. Where we were seated, we couldn’t help but watch the confusion of the staff bringing the food out of the kitchen and staff on the floor working out the table numbers.  We found out later that they were totally overstaffed on that first day as most the staff were new and needed training. As the lunch crowd drifted in, it was surprisingly not full as they kept the crowds down to allow the kitchen to get up to speed. We were told that it was all hands on deck in the kitchen as well with several chefs including Anthony in the kitchen that day.

Les Deux Salons Covent Garden

We kicked off with the Lamb sweetbreads, “Bouchee a la reine” (£8.95) and the highly recommended Crisp boneless chicken wings, fresh macaroni winter savoury (7.50). The sweetbreads was a step back in time as I haven’t had one of these since I was working in Paris and it was rich and delicious, rather generous for a starter portion. The chicken wings, in an unusual combination, was nicely crisped and well balanced with the greens and pasta.

Lamb Sweetbreads Les Deux Salon
Lamb Sweetbreads Les Deux Salons
Crisp Chicken Wings Macaroni Les Deux Salon
Crisp Chicken Wings Macaroni Les Deux Salons

While the starters  arrived promptly, it took another 45 minutes for the main courses to arrive, after the table next to us had eaten, paid and left. A mention to one of the staff tranplanted from another of their restaurant that the staff were a bit confused got this reply, “That is why there is a 50% discount on food this week”. Unnecessary, as we were totally aware that this is the first service and expected teething problems. Besides that one episode, service was rather enthusiastic.

Mains were tender, melting Slow Cooked Ox Cheeks with parsnip puree (£17.95), very rich in flavour, totally delicious and Roast Halibut with Razor Clams (21.50), a nice way to prepare razor clams, could have had just a plate of those by itself.

Slow Cooked Ox Cheeks Les Deux Salon
Slow Cooked Ox Cheeks Les Deux Salons
Roast Halibut with Razor Clams Les Deux Salons
Roast Halibut with Razor Clams Les Deux Salons

To finish, we had the Glazed Lemon Tart with Creme Chantilly and ordered the bill and coffee at the same time.

Lemon Tart

The dessert and bill arrived and was paid and the coffee making guy had still not received the order to make the coffee. It did eventually arrive after much prompting and was very good too. We also spotted this oozing brie on the cheese board on the way out, something to remember for next time.

Les Deux Salons

The erratic service is forgivable as it’s their first service as the food is spot on. On the menu are several Plat du Jours (plural?) which I will be back to try – Wednesdays “Pot au Feu”, Thursdays Cassoulet and Friday Bouillabaisse. They also offer a 3 course Theatre Supper for £15.50 which I expect is going to be very popular in Theatreland. Our bill for the meal and a few glasses of wine, came up to about £60 after the 50% discount, and unless they introduce a lunch menu, it is  bit rich as a regular lunch spot.

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  1. vintage macaroon says:

    Paris brassiere, pot au feu, cassoulet, bouillabaisse, lemon tart , I have to get there! Hope they start a lunch priced menu soon!

  2. The sweetbreads and chicken wings with macaroni really do look awesome. I’m returning for lunch next week and will be sure to order those!

  3. Caroline B says:

    Went last night and was able to take advantage of a Daily Candy 20 per cent offer. Thought the food was fabulous – the veal was immaculately cooked. Loved the decor (especially the sensuously curvy red velvet banquettes upstairs and huge copper washbasins). But think that the service could still do with some fine tuning. Once the place had filled up, it took us several attempts to get some milk to go with our coffee. The Other Will Smith was very much in evidence, so confident that the service will match the standard of the food soon. And the online reservation chart is an excellent idea.

    1. LondonFoodie says:

      Douglas, you don’t like them at all do you?

  4. I visited a couple of weeks ago, on a Monday lunch, the place was packed, buzzy and we had an excellent time. Looking forward to return.

  5. I work 5 minutes from this place – M’colleague and I are waiting until the new year to try it but try it we will!

    1. LondonFoodie says:

      You must go. The food there is amazing. Time for me to revisit for the cassoulet.