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REVIEW : BRASSERIE OF LIGHT, LONDON

March 26, 2019

Whenever I take a trip to London one of the first things I plan is where I'm going to be eating dinner. With such a wealth and variety or eateries it would be a shame not to take advantage of this, even though I do confess I have favourites that I'll head to time after time. A new restaurant opening however will never not be a source of excitement for me and so when I heard about the concept for Brasserie of Light before it even launched I knew I had to visit. 

Brasserie of Light is a stunning new restaurant set within the world famous Selfridges department store on Oxford Street, with its own entrance on the Duke Street side of the store. The double height space is occupies showers diners in light with the crowning jewel being a sparkling 24ft Pegasus encrusted in crystals, designed by the legendary Damien Hirst. I confess it definitely isn't the sort of piece that comes straight to mind when you think of Hirst but the incredible scale, intricacy and well, unexpectedness speaks of the artists reputation. 

An airy and truly opulent space filled with shining mirror and Art Deco flourishes, this has to be one of the prettiest spaces I've eaten in. Artistry and design are clearly of the highest importance and I was tentative to see how this was translated into the food which mixes British cuisine with internationally inspired flourishes and flavours - sometimes this can go very wrong but at Brasserie of Light it has gone so so right.




We started our meals with a drink of course, my sister choosing the Jasmine and Peppermint Gin and Tonic which mixed Monkey 47 gin, aromatic tonic, chartreuse washed ice, peppermint mist and jasmine pearls. I love Chartreuse and it was a treat to taste a whisper of its herbal flavour against the bitter gin and tonic and it made for a refreshing drink after a busy day of shopping, despite the peppermint and jasmine not really making an appearance.  

I chose the Black Lotus cocktail, a concoction of sake, apple liqueur, matcha syrup and more and let me tell you it was truly delicious. The bite of the sake with the sweet tart apple was perfect and the matcha green tea added a fragrant and unexpected extra note that worked perfectly. An A class long drink that would be a proud addition to any bar's menu.



With so many interesting options on the menu it must have taken us about half an hour to decide on what to eat but I finally settled on a starter of the Dorset crab salad with watermelon, radish and a lobster dressing. I've had watermelon salads many times but never mixed it with a a creamy delicate shellfish like crab. Let me tell you, it works. Creating a perfect forkful with a piece of watermelon, a sliver of radish, a swipe of lobster dressing and avocado puree and a generous scoop of the crab was a sheer delight. Sweet and crisp, creamy and decadent, the bite of savoury micro leaves. An experience I would like to have again and again.

Laura decided upon the avocado and sesame fried chicken with coriander and green tea, served with a chia seed and jalapeƱo dip and was not disappointed. The chicken was juicy and flavourful with a delicate crispy crust that gave way to a ghost like taste of green tea herbalness that paired beautifully with the spice of the dip and the little sprinkling of saffron fronds.



As a huge seafood fan that lives with someone that doesn't appreciate fish dishes these tend to be what I order most of the time when dining out, but cod has never been top of my list. The combination of ingredients in the blackened cod with sprouting broccoli, wasabi mayo, shaved fennel and truffle wafu dressing however really sparked my interest. I've honestly never eaten cod this good in my life. Everything worked. The fish was tender and moist (which is regularly is not the case for blackened dishes as they are often served grilled to the point of dryness) and the seasoning was perfectly balanced with the sweetness of the meat itself. When eaten with a few shavings of fennel and a dip of both the dressing and mayo it was a divine mouthful covering all the bases of sweet, sour, soft, crisp, fresh, rich... can you tell I'm a bit enamoured with this one? 

Wafu dressing if you are unfamiliar is an asian dressing with a citrus and umami profile and I adore it on vegetables such as the broccoli served here, especially with the extra special addition of truffle. I can't honestly say that the wasabi really came through in the mayo possibly because it was with such a variety of other taste bud tingling flavours but it was rich and luscious as a mayonnaise should be. Needless to say I would order this again and again. And again. 



My sister settled upon the roasted salmon with asparagus spears, herb sauce and caviar which I was pleased by as this was one of the other options I was toying with! When asked how the fish should be cooked she decided not to go for it pink and despite this the fish was still unbelievably delicate with just a touch of toasty brown crispness. I adore a creamy herbaceous sauce with salmon and this one was particularly good, amped up to eleven with a nice splodge of caviar for added texture and decadence. Dipping an asparagus spear into this luxurious yet zingy fresh dressing was another treat that should be experienced.

Because it's one of my favourite treats we also shared a basket of zucchini fritti and me oh my was this a good decision! Wonderfully thin matchsticks of zucchini were dusted in flour and fried to absolute perfection and when spritzed with lemon juice and a little salt made for the perfect accompaniment to our rich fish dishes. I was just sad that we couldn't finish the very generous portion!




Dessert was a course I was very much looking forward to mainly because of the photos I'd seen online and so I was very chuffed when Laura ordered the 'Orbit' - a chocolate sphere filled with chocolate mousse and salted caramel ice cream, served with milk foam, honeycomb and popping candy plus salted caramel pearl chocolates. Yes it did indeed look incredible when it arrived at our table but the proof is in the tasting and it lived up to the magnificence of its appearance admirably. I don't know how they made that milk foam but I would like a bucketful delivered each week please and thank you. The light foam balanced out the voluptuous chocolate and caramel elements and the combination of sweet and salty cold ice cream, rich chocolate mousse, airy milk foam and crisp chocolate shell was a masterclass in pudding...ing. 



I have a real thing for tarte aux pommes so I couldn't resist ordering the saintly named 'Golden Apple' tart with candied pecan nuts and cinnamon sprinkle, topped with salted caramel ice cream rolled in gold fuilletine and golden dried apple slices. Another gorgeous addition to any menu it was a buttery rich treat with crisp pastry, tender apply, crunchy nuts and soft creamy ice cream. Not the best apple tart I've ever eaten but definitely an impressive offering that I would happily order again.

We concluded our meal with coffees including a 'vanilla shakerato' of espresso shaken with ice and served in a glass like an espresso martini



As you have gathered by now I'm sure we were very happy ladies as we left after a meal of this caliber. The creativity and interesting flavour combinations left me aching to try more and I've been recommending Brasserie of Light to many friends since our visit.

One comment that I would make is that the menu wasn't very vegan friendly, although a table near us had some allergy requirements that the waiting team helped with very well. Perhaps with the next menu review the addition of some more options will occur for our vegan friends ticking even more boxes.

So in a nutshell my words to describe Brasserie of Light would be beautiful, decadent, fun, artistic, delicious, creative and, well, all round magical.


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*This meal was complimentary in exchange for my review, but all opinions given are, as always, 100% honest and my own. 
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