RestaurantsLondonBalhamSW17
2 Bellevue Rd, London, SW17 7EG

survey result

Summary

£110
£££££
5
Exceptional
5
Exceptional
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Long live Chez Bruce!”. It has “a neighbourhood feel”, but Bruce Poole’s “jewel in south west London’s crown” by Wandsworth Common is one of the capital’s most revered restaurants and – for the 18th year running – is voted Londoner’s No. 1 favourite in our annual diners’ poll. Key to its appeal is the delivery of “top quality, but without the pretensions of some places”. Chef Matt Christmas has worked with Bruce for over 10 years, and the kitchen produces modern British dishes that are “very memorable”, but “without being fussy or fad-ish, nor horrendously overpriced”. “Doing simple food this well is the ultimate in difficulty, there is just nowhere to hide!” “Professional and friendly service continues to excel”, “seemingly effortlessly delivering a superb feeling of conviviality” and enlivening a space that’s “classy and understated”, but not intrinsically that special. “Bruce himself frequently still wanders around the dining room greeting and chatting informally to diners” and the whole operation practically “never puts a foot wrong”. That all this can be enjoyed “without breaking the bank” seals the “absolute pleasure of eating there”.

Summary

£100
£££££
5
Exceptional
4
Very Good
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“The very definition of a neighbourhood star” – Bruce Poole’s “unpretentious, yet ever-reliable” south London icon, on Wandsworth Common, is – for the 17th year running – Londoners’ No. 1 favourite in our annual diners’ poll. For its legions of fans it’s “the lodestar as to ‘how to do it well’ without making people feel ripped off”“a proper grown-up restaurant, yet without being staid or stuffy”. Matt Christmas’s “unfussy” but “cleverly crafted” cuisine is “consistently superb” (“imaginative and expertly executed, with nothing just for show/colour, and with all constituents perfectly balanced”). “Engaging staff are knowledgeable without being intimidating” and if you’re a wine connoisseur you’ll be delighted by the “comprehensive and well-selected wine list” (although, “if you just want the house white then they won’t be at all sniffy”). “The modest dining room is bright, with no background muzak, and always pleasantly buzzy and busy”. A few reports do note the odd “Covid blip” or staffing issues, but (practically) all accounts say it’s now “back to its best”. “Year after year, this is one of the places I feel a sense of homecoming, gradually developing rituals around different reasons to justify a trip. Wonderfully comforting, satisfying and delightful all round!” (“If I were on Desert Island Discs, this would be my luxury item!”) Top Tip – “the £57.50 3-course lunch menu is some of the best value in town”.

Summary

£95
 ££££
5
Exceptional
4
Very Good
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“The kind of restaurant that makes you want to celebrate more often” – Bruce Poole’s south London legend was voted London’s favourite by our diners for the 16th year running. Reflecting its neighbourhood appearance and location (by Wandsworth Common), it is “as near to a home-from-home as a luxury London restaurant can be”, while features noted in feedback over many years have been its “honest and ungimmicky” approach, “unpretentious staff”, “lack of crazy prices” and the fact that it “never lets you down” (also, to be fair, that the interior is “slightly cramped”). The deceptively simple modern British cuisine (for the last 10 years from head chef Matt Christmas) is in a similar vein: the menu – “always full of dishes you really want to eat”“has a good mixture of classics and seasonal, more modern dishes” and “the pared-back flavour combinations allow the nuances of each ingredient to be identified and savoured”. “We leave with a smile on our face every time”.

Summary

£84
 ££££
5
Exceptional
5
Exceptional
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Still peerless as a neighbourhood restaurant delivering exquisite, modern French cuisine” – Bruce Poole’s immaculate “mainstay of South West London”, by distant Wandsworth Common, was – for the 15th year in succession – the survey’s No. 1 favourite restaurant, and “well worth the trip south of the river”. “Whether you are going for a celebratory meal, or just a casual lunch or supper”, “its consistency is astonishing, and comes at fabulously reasonable prices” (especially given the “little extra touches like Parmesan biscuits at the beginning of a meal, and chocolate truffles and palmiers at the end”). “What’s brilliant about the seasonal cooking is its perfect, pure – not gastronomic – tastes and palate: classics are flawlessly cooked, and there is innovation without it being bound in any way to the latest fads and fashions”. And “although there must be heaps going on behind the scenes, the set-up manages to be effortlessly elegant in an unpretentious style that feels like it comes easy to them”, with “engaging” staff who are “professional without being obsequious”. IF there’s a gripe, it’s that the “bright and compact” room that most reporters feel is “delightful” and “fitting for pretty much any occasion” (especially a romantic one) is, for a small minority, too “cramped” and un-fancy.

For 33 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. In a typical year, diners submit over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK. Each year, the guide is re-written from scratch based on this survey (although for the 2021 edition, reviews are little changed from 2020 as no survey could run for that year).

Have you eaten at Chez Bruce?

Owner's description

The restaurant

“My business partner Nigel Platts-Martin and I opened Chez Bruce in 1995.

From the outset, it was our intention to serve the very best food and drink but within a relaxed, informal yet thoroughly professionally orchestrated environment. Over the years we have been lucky enough to collect many prestigious awards and industry gongs, but it has never been our inclination to rest on our laurels.

Restaurants are not about celebrity chefs, managers, owners or design; they are about customers. In kitchen, wine and dining room departments, we therefore only strive to improve. If one’s passion is truly rooted in the business, there is no other option.”

Bruce Poole

Prices

Availability 2 courses 3 courses coffee included service included
Always   £67.50
Lunch   £85.00
Drinks  
Wine per bottle £48.00
Filter Coffee £5.50
Extras  
Bread £0.00
Service 15.00%

Current menus

Restaurant details

Portions
14
No dress code
80
Yes

The chef

Matt Christmas

Head Chef

Chez Bruce Restaurant Diner Reviews

Reviews of Chez Bruce Restaurant in SW17, London by users of Hardens.com. Also see the editors review of Chez Bruce restaurant.
Kieran C
Went with my young son. The look on his fa...
Reviewed 1 months, 4 days ago

"Went with my young son. The look on his face taking the first bite of each of his courses was worth the visit by itself. Cooking was great, and I really appreciated the Les Amoureuses by the glass."

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Neill S
It's very pleasant and unthreatening in eve...
Reviewed 1 months, 27 days ago

"It's very pleasant and unthreatening in every respect but I want a bit more cutting edge to the safe cooking, the boring decor and the lickspittle service. Every year we go (because it is a nice meal and ok prices) but every year I bemoan the lack of 'wow'. Still I'm sure like every year I will be in the minority."

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Andrew H
It was probably the one restaurant in Londo...
Reviewed 2 months, 27 days ago

"It was probably the one restaurant in London I'd never been to which I felt I should have done and we weren't disappointed. Great cooking, lovely atmosphere and, while not cheap, no more expensive than many far less good places."

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Geoffrey P
Its still good but is it as exceptional as ...
Reviewed 4 months, 23 days ago

"Its still good but is it as exceptional as it was? Maybe others are catching up"

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Daniel C
Still one of the best meals out in town, fr...
Reviewed 7 months, 11 days ago

"Still one of the best meals out in town, friendly and not too pretentious, with a terrific cheese selection."

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Michael B
Lunchtime visit - bankably great meal (for ...
Reviewed 11 months, 2 days ago

"Lunchtime visit - bankably great meal (for two) with fantastic quality and service - but delivered in a relaxing and informal way. Bruce Poole even wondered over for a chat. "

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Jin L
Good cooking, friendly service, excellent c...
Reviewed 11 months, 29 days ago

"Good cooking, friendly service, excellent cheese platter with good selection. Desserts a bit too sweet. Generous portions "

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2 Bellevue Rd, London, SW17 7EG
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Opening hours
MondayCLOSED
Tuesday12 pm‑2 pm, 6 pm‑9:15 pm
Wednesday12 pm‑2 pm, 6 pm‑9:15 pm
Thursday12 pm‑2 pm, 6 pm‑9:15 pm
Friday12 pm‑2 pm, 6 pm‑9:30 pm
Saturday12 pm‑2 pm, 6 pm‑9:30 pm
Sunday12 pm‑2:30 pm, 6:30 pm‑9 pm

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