Bistro du Vin, as of part of the reputed Hotel du Vin, has opened in London to much bloggers’ acclaim via Twitter. It gave me enough reason to check the place out. On arrival, there was this meaty ‘shop-window’ display of fresh prime cuts, which led way to the dimmed elegant dining room, a glorious chef’s table and a pewter-topped bar. I got really excited walking in, but as the sun had it, I decided to sway from the dining room and grab the seat off St John Street.
The menu at Bistro du Vin was not ambitious and featured many classic French and European dishes as well as steaks to grill. There were specials of the day, too. My eyes went straight to Gratine Goat’s Cheese Souffle, but before that, many kinds of bread…
There they did premium wine tasting menu, which you could choose to go either with a 50ml or 125ml. My first was this 1992 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc, Pessac-Leognan. The sommelier said it would go brilliantly with the Jamon Iberico de Bellotta. Sad truth, I didn’t actually order the Jamon. Bugger! This was followed by two more glasses of 2001 Penfolds Grange, South Australia and 2000 Sassicaia, Tenuta San Guido from Tuscany. I admit, I quite enjoyed this mini tasting in the sun and not having to worry too much about excessive alcohol intake…
Here’s the whole tasting list
And the magnificent souffle that arrived. Looking very much like a pudding with an extra pitcher of custard pouring all over, the souffle oozed mild cheesy flavours and boast a ridiculously velvety texture and a superfluous smell of gratinated cheese. The portion appeared menacing but it was quite a light dish. Went down in seconds!!
The menu describing the extras of herb and salt crusted bone marrow and doubled fried eggs as to go with anything caught my eyes. Still, I knew I couldn’t quite stomach a piece of Longhorn, so I went for a burger instead, with the extras of bone marrow and fried eggs.
And I am blogging this watching Supersize VS Superskinny…
This is not to mention that the burger came with a trophy of chips. A trophy!! Burger-wise, it was meh. I particularly asked for a medium rare but ended up with a so-charred-it-tasted-burnt medium-cooked burger. Not enough moisture in the burger. The relish, which was more of a mayo cocktail, did not do much for me either, while the gargantuan portion made it impossible for me to feast myself in delight while London – and many passer-by bankers – was staring at me. You’d better lock me up in a loo so I could fully enjoy myself with a big meat. And – f**k – I also had the extras to finish.
As a person of rationale would do, I did not ask for desserts and lingered on my last glass of wine. Bistro du Vin did not quite do it for me when it came to a burger. I would without a doubt recommend a Goodman or a Hawksmoor in the East for steak and burger but I liked Bistro du Vin more for its classic French dishes – the souffle was top-notch! – its sumptuous wine offering and the knowledgeable sommelier.
My head rating says, “7 out of 10″.
My heart rating says, “6 out of 10″.
BISTRO DU VIN
38-42 St John Street
Tel. 020 7490 9230