Lamb and gnocchi mains from Brasserie Blanc
Photo credit: Rebecca Whalley

Brasserie Blanc: Restaurant Review

Centred in the heart of Jericho, Raymond Blanc’s Brasserie Blanc is one of Oxford’s most loved, ranking at 20 out of nearly 400 Oxford restaurants on TripAdvisor. Its reputation is well earned.

Brasserie Blanc has fourteen locations across the UK, and prides itself on its warm and welcoming atmosphere. In Jericho, the restaurant celebrates this by radiating warm, orange light from a leaf-green canopy, with about thirty tables, which doesn’t feel overcrowded.

Currently Brasserie Blanc is serving its ‘Winter Warmer Menu’, abundant with root vegetables, rich meats and incredibly indulgent desserts. There is a variety of well-loved options, such as the pumpkin risotto and prawn and crayfish cocktail, but I went for one of my favourites – escargots. This was one of the cheaper starters – sitting at £7.50 – which surprised me, as escargots can be rather hard to find. Nonetheless, the snails were truly melt-in-the-mouth, baked in a garlic and herb butter and served with baguette slices. Other restaurants sometimes overdo the garlic, but Brasserie Blanc’s kept its brilliant natural, earthy flavours. This also pleasantly surprised a friend, who had not tried escargots before.

The menu offers plenty of vegetarian and vegan options, with my vegetarian friends trying the pumpkin risotto and cheese souffle starters, both of which looked fantastic, with the risotto almost appearing as a meal due to its ambitious portion size.

The mains came at a higher price, averaging about £20 each. Although the prices aren’t very student-friendly, the food was delicious. I had the herb-crusted lamb roulade, accompanied by a Jerusalem artichoke purée, Dauphinoise potato, confit garlic and a lamb jus. The purée was fantastic and really enhanced the lamb’s flavour, and the Dauphinoise was the best I’ve ever had. However, I was a bit miffed at the lack of delicious confit garlic, as I was only given a single clove. The jus was a little thin, but the flavour made up for it, and perfectly complemented both the herb crust and the beautifully tender lamb.

My vegetarian friends had the gorgeous looking gnocchi: tender wild mushrooms and artichoke crisps nestled amongst bright orange, fresh pasta – I’ll have to go back to try this one.

Finally, I treated myself to a dessert (I was there for a birthday after all, albeit admittedly not my own). After seeing somebody else’s pistachio soufflé, I decided to have one too, even before I’d had my starter. For £8.65, it was wonderfully cooked, perfectly light, retained a beautiful mint-green colour and was paired with an incredibly indulgent, rich chocolate ice cream – all you could ask for! Although a friend said it tasted slightly artificial, it was incredibly tasty, and I would certainly try it again.

Due to the price, the food at Brasserie Blanc is more of a graduation meal than a weekend treat, but it’s certainly not to be missed – Blanc’s restaurant has something for everyone’s taste.

Image credit: Rebecca Whalley

Image description: Photos of roast lamb and gnocchi meals.