RestaurantsLondonBalhamSW17

survey result

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.

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, is – 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.

Summary

£83
 ££££
5
Exceptional
5
Exceptional
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“The perfect neighbourhood restaurant… I just wish it was actually in my neighbourhood!” – Bruce Poole’s “consistently exceptional” legend by Wandsworth Common is, for the 14th year, the survey’s No. 1 favourite: “it simply never lets you down”. “The attention to detail is wonderful”, but “there is nothing flashy or pretentious” about the place. Service is “delightful, chatty enough and knowledgeable”, “without ever verging on the fussy or obsequious”; and “there are always gorgeous surprises from the regularly changing, seasonal menu” of “flawless modern European cooking” (“filled with delicate flavours, but also packing a punch!”). Save a little space for the “epic cheese board”, which is arguably “the best in town”. There is little but a hymn of praise in the huge volume of reports we receive: “on our visit Gordon Ramsay was dining and even he found nothing to complain about!”

For 31 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

Traditional European menu

Starter Main Pudding
£20.00 £35.00 £15.00
Drinks  
Wine per bottle £30.00
Filter Coffee £5.50
Extras  
Service 10.00%

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.
George S
A rather disappointing dinner. Pate en cro...
Reviewed 27 days ago

"A rather disappointing dinner. Pate en croute was a second cousin to Melton Mowbray pie and soup was aggressively spiced. My cod main course was excellent as was one of our puddings but otherwise the food experience was underwhelming. Service was clinically efficient if somewhat dehumanised and the volume of noise often clamorous."

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Peter D
Interesting food, enjoyable, but I feel I h...
Reviewed 3 months, 7 days ago

"Interesting food, enjoyable, but I feel I have experienced better in the past. Excellent service."

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Neill S
It's not bad, it's just not what it was and...
Reviewed 3 months, 22 days ago

"It's not bad, it's just not what it was and at some point I'm sure others will agree with me. The menu was lazy, the service distracted and the dining room is dull. If this was in the centre of town it would not receive the level of positive reviews it does."

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Julia R
Always reliably special...
Reviewed 4 months, 17 days ago

"Always reliably special"

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Michael B
Well deserved high marks for consistency of...
Reviewed 5 months, 11 days ago

"Well deserved high marks for consistency of quality in all departments"

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Angus D
An oldie but a goodie, always feels like yo...
Reviewed 9 months, 3 days ago

"An oldie but a goodie, always feels like you have entered someone's house for an amazing dinner given the friendliness of the service, great wine list and the very definition of consistency "

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Neill S
Continues to deliver but lacks excitement...
Reviewed 10 months, 26 days ago

"Continues to deliver but lacks excitement"

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2 Bellevue Rd, London, SW17 7EG
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Opening hours
MondayCLOSED
Tuesday12 pm‑1:45 pm, 6 pm‑9:15 pm
Wednesday12 pm‑1:45 pm, 6 pm‑9:15 pm
Thursday12 pm‑1:45 pm, 6 pm‑9:15 pm
Friday12 pm‑1:45 pm, 6 pm‑9:30 pm
Saturday12 pm‑2 pm, 6 pm‑9:30 pm
Sunday12 pm‑3 pm, 7 pm‑9 pm

The 2022 Harden's Guide

2022 Hardens London Restaurant Guide

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