It’s often held that the average student budget is unable to support gourmet food. But, if you look in the right places, you’ll soon find that certain restaurants offer sumptuous food for tasty prices. Brasserie Blanc is one of these establishments. Sure, you can blow your battels out of the water if you’re so inclined, and come out with little change from fifty quid. But our sampling of the set menu was enough to convince us that you can eat well – and damn well, at that – for the £11.50 that the set menu costs.
The ham hock and green pea soup starter is welcome amid Michaelmas chills, and the pork is something to savour, with generous chunks. The gnocchi with jervaulx blue cheese and celery is perhaps one for those with more refined cultural palates, but serves as a fine appetiser before the business of the day begins.
Steak. Make no mistake about it: these guys really do know how to slake your steak thirst. There are other other options: shirred eggs with sauteéd muscat pumpkin, gruyère cheese, green salad; pan-fried haddock fillet with poached egg, and potato salad; and slow-cooked beef with onions and horseradish mash. But for an extra £1.95, the onglet steak comes with our highest recommendation.
Not for nothing is this cut known as ‘butcher’s steak’. Full of flavour, the onglet steak was as succulent as they come, and arrived with harissa butter, french fries, and tomato. It is generally only served medium rare owing to the inherent chewiness of the cut, but this is a sacrifice – if you consider it a sacrifice – worth making, as this is a steak to remember.
The bread and butter pudding comprises a delicious conclusion to a superb meal, but it’s not just the food that makes a visit to the Brasserie so special.
It might not be central, but it’s certainly worth the walk, with friendly staff and attentive waiting. Swiftly-replenished bread baskets ably fill the wait between courses, while the decoration and ambience of the place mark it out even in trendy Jericho.
Find Brasserie Blanc online, on 71-72 Walton Street, or on 01865 510999.