A true neighbourhood restaurant, hidden away near the Thames in Battersea, offering simple Gallic fare; we found the cuisine generous, but rather lacking in finesse.

When you see menu of this notably unpretentious all-day joint, which opened up near the Battersea riverside early in 2007, you may feel that you have stumbled into some sort of Francophile heaven. This double-page job – printed up freshly every day – offers dishes ranging from pancakes and croques-messieurs to quite ambitious plats du jour – perfect, it seems, for everything from lunch with the kids to an informal romantic dinner (if you avoid the football evenings, that is). There is an excellent range of French wines (and other drinks) too, all at reasonable prices.

Sadly, on our visit, the food just did not live up to the promise. Bread set a upbeat note, and a reasonably-priced kids’ pasta special was also good, but there were just too many duds. That’s not to say that there’s any want of generosity – if anything, portions are too big – but a seafood chowder was impossibly salty, and both a venison plat du jour and a floating island would have benefited from being half the size and twice as subtle. Coffee was also indifferent.

All, in our view, a bit of a shame. This is so nearly a hidden gem.

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