With old favourites such as Baked Saint-Marcellin Cheese and Pistachio Souffle on the Brasserie Blanc menu, as well as many delightfully tempting new dishes, I was once again thrown into a dilemma. “What should I order?” Do I stick with a familiar favourite that I know I adore or opt for something new with the promise of unknown, never-before tasted pleasures!
During a recent visit to Brasserie Blanc in Chichester, I simply couldn’t decide what to eat – it all sounded so good.
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Please note, our visit to Brasserie Blanc was complimentary for review purposes.
Our waitress, Rita, couldn’t have been more helpful, and her recommendations were spot on. From start to finish, via a few glasses of wine, her knowledge was impressive. And, even, though they were busy, she found time to answer all our queries, with excellent recommendations for each course to suit our personal tastes. She clearly loved her job too.
“It’s my absolute pleasure to work here.” Rita told us, “I love how Brasserie Blanc respects the food and cooks everything fresh using the best, seasonal ingredients, just as I was taught to back home in Madeira.”
Some highlights from the Brasserie Blanc Menu
A cheese lovers dilemma
Souffle or Baked? Having thoroughly enjoyed the Baked Saint-Marcellin Cheese on a previous visit, I was very tempted to have it again. In the end, I decided to try something new. I was certain the Cheese Souffle would be equally as good. It was. And equally generous too. Both dishes are big enough to share for those with all but the largest of appetites. The souffle, served with a creamy Wyke Farm Cheddar sauce, is soft and light, melting in your mouth at every bite. The already fabulous flavour of the cheddar is enhanced further by adding nutmeg and shallots.
Above: Cheese Souffle with Wyke Farm Cheddar sauce, below: Baked Saint-Marcellin Cheese, two starters, I’d highly recommend.
Barbary Duck with Citrus Sauce
Next up for me was the Barbary Duck with Citrus Sauce, French beans, carrots and Dauphinoise potatoes. The duck leg is cooked in its own fat to make sure all flavour, tenderness and richness are maintained, while the citrus sauce adds sweetness to the dish. The rich, dark meat was fall-off-the-bone, melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Really superb with subtle citrus notes. If anything, I would have liked the citrus flavour to be a little more prominent. Rita, our waitress, recommended pairing this with the Argentina Malbec, La Posta Pizzella. I always enjoy a Malbec, and this was no exception. Think black cherries, dark chocolate and plum with a touch of spice. A great partner for the dark meat of this succulent duck.
Stone Bass with Ginger and Lemongrass
My sister opted for the Stone Bass, a fish neither of us had tried before. And she was in raptures over it. This fish used to be known as meagre and is somewhat similar to Sea Bass but it has an earthier, though subtle, flavour. It’s a farmed fish, available year-round and its large size lends itself to substantial boneless fillet steaks with thick muscle flakes. At Brasserie Blanc, it’s pan-fried with ginger and lemongrass, and served with crushed new potatoes, choy sum with toasted sesame and soy dressing. How fabulous does that sound? Tessa loved the combination of Thai inspired flavours and textures and is still singing its praises a week later. She was also delighted with the wine Rita paired it with, a Cap Catte Picpoul de Pinet from Languedoc-Roussillon. Cap Cette is one of the finest examples of this crisp, citrus-scented white wine from the southern coast of France. It’s the perfect complement to any fish or seafood.
Desserts made in heaven
Despite being rather full, we couldn’t leave without dessert. I already knew the Pistachio Souffle was heavenly. I remember my stepdaughter on a previous visit saying, “It’s like eating a cloud!”. Having had one souffle for my starter, I thought “Why have one souffle, when you can have two?” My sister, meanwhile, tucked into the Mango and Pineapple Crumble, a cold dish with more of a biscuit crumb topping rather than a traditional crumble, served with vanilla ice cream. She devoured it with relish.
Above: Pistachio Souffle, below: Mango and Apple Crumble
Next time I visit, there’s another Saint-Marcellin Cheese with my name on it! On the dessert menu, it’s served with quince jelly, fig and almond cake and crackers. A must another time!
Quality, seasonality, and sustainability, the key ingredients in the Brasserie Blanc menu
One thing I love about the Brasserie Blanc menu is the great mix of choices. As well as classic French-influenced favourites, there are dishes inspired by Raymond Blanc’s travels around the world, plus some popular staples that appear on nearly every restaurant menu in the UK – their steaks are legendary. The same main menu appears across the board at Brasserie Blanc restaurants the length and breadth of the country, carefully selected by Raymond Blanc, Executive Chef Clive, and their team.
And, knowing Raymond Blanc’s passion for sustainability – he’s the president of the Sustainable Restaurant Association – it comes as no surprise that from the cheese to the vegetables and from the meat to the fish, all the ingredients are ethically and sustainably sourced from the finest producers, fishermen and farmers.
The Cheese Souffle, for example, is served with Wyke Farm Cheddar sauce. The Wyke family have been making Cheddar Cheese in Somerset since 1861. The cheese is the tastiest you could hope to find. What’s more Wyke Farm has a 100% green policy.
Vegans and Vegetarians Options
Vegans and vegetarians are fairly well catered for, although, with social distancing in the kitchens as necessary as it is everywhere else, they are not able to offer as much choice as they would wish, across the board.
Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Brasserie Blanc Menu
Gluten and dairy-free menus are available on request, but you can also read them on their website before you book.
Allergen Brasserie Blanc Menus
You can also see a full range of food and drink allergen menus covering everything from breakfast to Sunday lunch and from wines to cocktails.
Please note that not all branches are serving all the menus. For instance, the Chichester branch does not serve breakfast. On their website, you can easily select the relevant location to check which menus they offer, as well as opening times etc. You can find out more about Brasserie Blanc in Chichester here.
Brasserie Blanc, Chichester
Richmond House, The Square
Chichester, West Sussex
Tel: 01243 534200
Website: Brasserie Blanc