Thursday 13 January 2011

Racine, Knightsbridge

Onglet a l'echallot

Not only is Racine terrific, but its set price lunch and dinner menu is a bargain at £15 for 2 courses or £17.50 for 3 courses. And, it feels exactly like being in Paris. What more do you need to hear?

In a lovely, busy little room with brown leather banquettes, mirrored walls and wooden floors, we eat classic Bourgeois French cooking as we watch the street crowds pass in droves on their way to Harrods. I know where I'd rather be.

Chef Henry Harris trained with Simon Hopkinson before setting up his "neighbourhood restaurant", Racine, where he has developed his traditional and robust style, with top quality cooking and ingredients at affordable prices. It's taken me too long to make it to Racine, but it may swiftly become a new favourite.

From the set price menu we enjoy a silky salad of duck confit in a mountainous, peppery jumble of mixed salad leaves, as well as a simple, salty creamed smoked cod's roe on toast with soft boiled egg and pickled cucumber.

Duck confit salad

Smoked cod's roe on toast

While the fillet of mullet, flageolete and fennel salad sounds appetising, we've heard good things about the steak at Racine (its famed Cote de Boeuf for 2 is sourced from O'Sheas) so we can't go past the onglet a l'echallot which is succulent and pungent with caramelised onions, creamy mash and a rich, beefy jus.

The creme caramel ice-cream is ok, but I still can't believe I didn't take up the option for the Pouligny Fermier (a firm, crumbly goat's cheese, carrying no supplement on the prix fixe menu).

Service is excellent, and the wine list extensive. There's really nothing else to say. If it's a short rendez-vous with good French cooking you're after, Racine is the ticket.

Racine, 239 Brompton Road, South Kensington, SW3 (Tel: 020 7584 4477)
Racine on Urbanspoon


  1. So glad that you have at last had the pleasure of Racine; it really is a lovely little place isn't it? The smoked cod's roe on toast sounds gorgeous - I know what I'll be ordering next time!

  2. I looove Racine! It's not a brilliant location for me, or I'd go more often, I visited three times last year. But it's just fab. As is Henry.

  3. Still haven't been here and from your post looks like I will love it!

  4. Hugh - Love it. A touch of France in London.

    Kavey - I can see it becoming more of a regular haunt for me too.

    Gourmet Chick - You'll love it.

  5. What a great recommendation, and a steal at £17.50 for 3 courses! I have always wanted to try Racine, I certainly will now.

    Luiz @ The London Foodie

  6. went there ages ago on a good date so I really can't remember the food... This looks so good that I should revisit, maybe with a girlfriend this time.

  7. Luiz - Could be a good pitstop for a shopping break!

    Ute - Sounds perfect.


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