Search

Restaurant review: Boulestin, SW1

PUBLISHED: 11:00 13 June 2014

Boulestin

Boulestin

James French

When renowned French food writer and chef Xavier Marcel Boulestin opened his eponymous restaurant in the late 1920s, it was frequented by film stars and the likes of Wallis Simpson.

Boulestin facts

Boulestin, 5 St James’s St,

SW1A 1EF

Tube: Green Park

Tel: 020 7930 2030

Web: boulestin.com

Mains from: £16.50

Wine from: £25.50

Disabled access: No toilet

Children allowed: Yes

Now, 20 years since that original venue closed its doors, its recently opened Mayfair namesake harks back to all the film-star glamour and grandeur of that bygone era – the kind of French brasserie with high ceilings and brass fittings that you’d hope to stumble across on a trip to Paris.

The menu is also very loyal to Boulestin himself, with more than half of the dishes on the menu from his pre-war cookbooks, and the service is as attentive as it comes.

As you’d expect from any French restaurant, the wine list is extensive – and our full bodied Pinot Noir from Burgandy lived up to expectations.

Sweet cured herrings served with potatoes and dill were fresh and tangy, but not too vinegary while the Rye Bay scallops my friend ordered were perfectly browned and tender, the mild flavour showcased by the cauliflower puree accompaniment.

The traditional beef borderlaise with red wine sauce was a dream – the thick slab of rib-eye juicy, free of any fat and cooked rare, brought to the table smothered in deliciously rich red wine sauce and paired with a simple layered dauphinoise potato.

Meanwhile my friend opted for the wild sea bass on a bed of samphire, served with a sauce vierge that was zesty but not at all too oily.

For dessert I tried the ile flottante – effectively meringue floating on cream – which was simple but divine. My friend went for hot cinamon beignets, which were crispy and soft little mini doughnuts with dipping sauces, tasting as good as they sound.

The original Boulestin closed in 1994 – a victim of the last recession and the traditional falling out of fashion. But thanks to a revival of classic dining as we grow tired of the modern and predictable, let’s hope this nostalgic gem is here to stay this time.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Islington Gazette. Click the link in the orange box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.



Most Read

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Most Read

Latest from the Islington Gazette