Cassis Bistro: High Street Honey?
Cassis Bistro located along London’s Brompton Road is a subtle, slick and stylishly designed restaurant inspired by Provencale cuisine. The focus is on ingredients sourced locally and from the Mediterranean. You immediately feel relaxed as you enter the restaurant, which has a very laid back vibe. There is nothing ostentatious or stuffy and this simplicity extends to the menu and food.
The set lunch is £18 for two courses and £22 for three courses. Antipasti starts from £9 and mains come in between £15 – £28.
Time Out and Tatler have offered praise and I’m keen to see in the menu inspires the palate. The service is attentive but not intrusive.
We opted for a mixture of items from the set and A la Carte menus and it was a mixed bag of bland, palatable and delightful (specifically the desserts on offer).
The bread was delicious. A wonderful foccacia was offered, very soft and fresh with a delicate but crispy crust. The brown bread provided was also very fresh – with both being prepared in house. (17/20)
The Insalata verde with greens and seasonal vegetables I opted for was simply a salad, with nothing inspiring to grab my attention. It could easily have been a bagged salad from my local supermarket. There was nothing inherently wrong, but when ordering a salad from a restaurant I look for something a little more interesting and this just didn’t deliver. It was decidedly plain. (10/20).
The poached Scottish salmon salad from the set menu was very light and delicate. It had a very subtle taste. Again, for me, this was a bit too drab, but my colleague loved it and appreciated it’s natural, inherent flavour. I felt more could have been done with the dish. (13/20)
A very beautifully presented wild mushroom tortelli appeared, which did have subtle flavours, a pleasant sauce, but nothing spectacular. The pasta was a tad too al dente for my personal taste. This was one of the better dishes. (13/20)
The pan-fried lemon sole with seasonal vegetables was somewhat bland and the vegetables too lacked flavour. I wondered on the ingredients used, as a well sourced vegetable will always have a wonderful flavour. I feel like a few more exciting ingredients could have been used. The dishes were very basic and bland. It just felt a bit too drab. My colleague on the other hand loved it, so I may have had too expectations from a high street bistro. (13/20)
The pea soup with pasta reale and pomodorini del pendolo I sampled was very much bog standard. Flavours needed better balancing I felt overall, but there is something admirable about the simplicity of the dishes. It’s certainly the place for healthy mains and starters but I feel healthy dishes can be much more exciting and interesting to the taste-buds. (13/20)
This is where Cassis excelled. The ricotta chocolate pear tart, strawberry cheesecake and mango meringue roll were all equally exquisite. Thankfully the cheesecake had a wonderfully soft, light centre, unlike some denser more filling varieties offered elsewhere. The mango meringue roll was beautifully light and pear tart, though a heavier dessert was equally delicious.
We both also decided to try a strawberry semi-freddo with milk ice-cream which was a great option for those looking to cut back on sugar. It was light, airy and not too sweet. There wasn’t one dessert we didn’t like, so if you’re looking to sate that sweet tooth after a meal Cassis is the venue to visit.
Also dazzling was the Sicilian cannoli with kumquat and rice ice-cream – absolutely exquisite. I am a huge fan of Italian desserts and this certainly did not disappoint. (17/20)
Really pleasant venue with helpful, attentive staff and healthy options. The food is very simple and there really are no heirs and graces. I found the food a tad bland and lacking innovation. More can be done with simple dishes to infuse flavour. I don’t have anything against simplicity, but the dishes could have been more flavoursome. The food was nice but nothing exceptional. For fabulous desserts this is definitely a restaurant worth frequenting.
Cost: The set lunch is £18 for two courses and £22 for three courses. Antipasti starts from £9 and mains come in between £15 – £28.
Telephone: 020-7581 1101.
Address: 232-236 Brompton Road, London, SW8 2BB.
Open: Mon – Fri: 8:30am – 10pm, Sat: 8:30am – 6:30pm, Sun 1:00pm – 5:00pm.
For more information see www.cassisbistro.co.uk.