Thursday

Le Cercle Sloane Square

One weeknight the family and I were all in London and wanted a local place to the hotel they was staying in. Having been on the restaurant scene a good few years, Le Cercle has recently been getting some good local press and so on instruction to 'go somewhere new' this was a restaurant I wanted to try out.



The front door itself is easy to walk past as it's simply a door with stairs to lead you down into the dining room. It's quite a dramatic room to step into being two, possibly three floors underground with a very, very high ceiling creating a sense of grandeur and clever lighting to soften the space. A small 'lounge' area hovers above the restaurant, an intimate 'couples' booth is hidden away and in huge demand for smoochy 'date nights' and a fantastic bar runs down the right hand side - I am told they do to die for cocktails!



The heavily French inspired menu seems somewhat reasonable for a Sloane Square restaurant, nothing over the £25 mark (unless you are a lover of caviar) and a fantastic wine list from the enviable feature cellar towards the back of the room. It's also split into three sections Grignotages), Petits plats) and Plats followed by a separate pudding menu. We settled on some snacks to help us decide with the menu choosing which should come with a warning that they are a little large to be described as a 'snack'. Several other tables near to us had done the same and all looked rather shocked or pleased with the portion size, we could have happily had these as our starters however we had already ordered our meal by the time these came out. 



Cured black salmon, refreshing celeriac 4.50 - the celeriac coleslaw was perfectly set against the salmon


Mini duck burger £4.50 - my favourite this was divine really juicy and actually perfectly put together. 



Crispy pork and melting tuna 6.50 - crispy Coated pork pieces, although a little dry without the sauce, went well with the tuna, a nice contrast of textures and flavours from such a little dish.



Foie gras chocobar 8.50 - this was well executed and a very clever little dish. Unusual, but worked well in terms of flavouring and also wonderful to look at. Served with toasted brioche 'fingers'.




For our 'Petits plats' Dad and I both had the King Scallops, Crushed peas and porcini foam which was a reasonable £11. Three big juicy perfectly cooked scallops arrived, each placed on a bed of zingy fresh peas. 




My brother chose the wood pigeon “Royale”, pickled grapes and chicory again a reasonable £10.50 and looked superb.  



Onto our 'Plats'  

Not (yet) eating much game this season I chose the Roast grouse, sweet pumpkin and Armagnac “croustous” at £25 this was one of the cheaper grouse dishes I had come across in town. Sadly missing out on the Grouse week at my fave local, Claude's Kitchen, I wasn't going to miss out this time. The meat was cooked perfectly with slightly crisp skin and a hint of pinkness. The pumpkin (two ways) was sweet against the game and the Armagnac croustous packed a punch and sadly a little too much for my liking so I couldn't finish it all.



Suckling pig variation, lovage and celery was Dad's choice and again looked delicious. Served with crispy pig's ears on top.


Braised and seared venison, vanilla oil, salsifis and juniper macaroon was my brothers choice and this was a gorgeous dish to look at. The macaroon was perfect!



My only negative was that where I sat in the banquette I could see straight into the kitchen and a rather ugly fan spoilt the calming and relaxed atmosphere the room delivers. It's a fabulous space, wonderful for couples and a hidden gem in the heart of Chelsea. We left astounded as it was circa £53pp which isn't far off our local pub up North, for high end French food delivered beautifully. 



Address: 1 Wilbraham Pl, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 9AE

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