Love Racine a lot.
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25 Westferry Road, London E14 8JH
pepperP: “Fabulous decor. Very attractive and relaxing. Amazing atmosphere, staff were over whelming. To top it up with all of that, the food was mind blowing. Have to say, what a great job they are doing. Will definitely return, and is highly recommended!” more...
6 reviews of Racine in English
For photos see Greedy Diva @ http://greedydiva.blogspot.com/2011/01/racine-knightsbrid...
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.
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.
I've been trying to go here a few times and after a failed attempt the day before I finally managed to. I feel I have really been missing out. As others have been saying the value for money is excellent. If you go for the set menu (2 courses for £18 and 3 courses for £20, as of 2011-01-22).
I had a fantastic two course lunch at Racine, there was not a thing to complain about. Well, one, mentioned below. Attentive and friendly service happy to help and knowing when to step in and when to stay away. The food was excellent and the interior very classy and, to me, very French.
I opted for two courses since I actually couldn't fit any more. A very good sign.
For the starter I had the best onion soup I have ever had. A white onion velouté with thyme chantilly. I was considering licking the bowl afterwards, but I could see the waiter eyeing me and thought better of it. Everything was balanced just right and the flavour was fantastic.
I thought this might be hard to follow and thought that if the main isn't good then after the wonderful starter I could still walk away happy. I was not let down, the main was as wonderful as the starter. Lamb with roasted beans was creamy and rich in flavour. It didn't look like that much but was properly filling. The only letdown was the new potatoes ordered as a side. For the price I expected more than 4 potatoes.
As soon as I walked out the door I already started planning my next visit.
Deciding we needed a decent lunch to see out the old year Mr Sudra dragged me and a couple of the ladies to Racine for a bit of French cuisine last Thursday.
Situated on the bustling Brompton Road Racine is a nicely decorated, fairly subdued room with a bit more space out the back. There is plenty of crisp white linen and brown leather on show with well-spaced tables and simple place settings. The many staff are smartly turned out, very welcoming and helpful.
It being the holiday period we were probably the only working “suits” in the place and our fellow diners did me the great favour of making me feel like a teenager; it’s the kind of place were even the young folk like to dress like their fathers and grandfathers.
We had the choice of a couple of decent tables and once seated we got some tap water and bottle of crisp Sauvignon Blanc, Domaine deLa Prade, 2009 while we had a look at the menu. After much debate we decided to all go for the regularly changing set lunch, perhaps the result of the previous 5 days of Christmas feasting, which is a pretty good deal at £17.50 for 3 courses.
I started off with a lovely creamy cauliflower veloute which came with a dollop of very flavoursome tapenade, just the thing for a chilly day in late December. We decided a second bottle of the Sauvignon Blanc was required and I then moved onto a fine piece of smoked haddock which was sitting on top of a bed of perfectly prepared baby leeks with a little “scotch” hens egg on the side; beautifully presented and a real pleasure to eat. Lindsay had the salt beef which was very rare and full of flavour.
We all finished with a lemon posset which came with a tiny shortbread finger. Rich yet quite zesty, it was a good end to a fine lunch. A quick espresso and we wandered out into the fading light more than happy with the way 2010 was drawing to a close.
Comment 1 comment on this review
contessa1, 4 January 2011:
Henry Harris is back as Chef Patron at Racine after a shortish stint as Executive Chef of the Soho House Group. I have eaten Henry's fine Bourgeois cooking for more years than I care to count going back to Hilare, Bibendum and 5h Floor at Harvey Nicholls.
It turns out that Henry also knows and worked with one of my best friends from University at The Old Ship in Brighton many moons ago. Strangely all this became apparent when Henry and I engaged on Twitter in a discussion on La Meranda in Nice that also involved restaurateur Charlie McVeigh and food critic/writer Daniel Young.
Racine reminds me of several Paris restaurants that falls into the category of Bistros/Brasseries * with a delightful room that has a wood floor, brown leather banquettes with mirrors above them and pale yellow walls.
Racine though is really about the food and as you can imagine when the Chef Patron has spent his formative years working with Simon Hopkinson you are most likely to be guaranteed well executed classic Bourgeois cooking.
John, Henry’s old colleague from Brighton and I had an exemplary lunch on Friday, July 3rd 2009. The food and service was really top notch and as it turns out it was Henry’s last service before a well-earned holiday.
We were greeted by Henry who gave us some of his own home made delightful cured middle white proscuito .
I strated with Smoked duck, French bean and girolle salad which was really very good indeed. The beans were perfectly cooked “al dente” and the duck was succulent with the delightful small girolles complimenting the ensemble of ingredients.
John was delighted with his Lincolnshire smoked eel, salmon roe, watercress and horseradish salad.
To follow I had Filet au poivre made with a lovely piece of well hung Filet served with hand cut chips and simple mixed leaf salad. The sauce presumably made with a veal stock reduction was really delicious and worked well with the tenderest but not necessarily the most flavorful cut of beef.
John said his Breast of guinea fowl, peas, broad beans and tarragon was really outstanding.
We drank a half bottle of Gewurztraminer, Cote de Rouffach, Rene Mure followed by a chilled Brouilly, Chateau de la Perriere as well as “several” Marc’s de Bourgogne with our espressos; we were really too full to be tempted by the classic deserts or the fine cheeses from La Fromagerie.
Racine is a delightful restaurant with excellent service providing very good and well executed Bourgeois cooking based on well selected ingredients from top suppliers. To paraphrase the by line of Benoît in Paris "Chez toi Racine, on boit, festoie, en rois”
Update Summer of 2009
Henry started to source amazing Cote de Boeuf from http://www.osheasbutchers.com O'Shea's of Knightsbridge these Irish Black Angus Grass Fed , Barley Finished 44 day + aged Ribeyes on the Bone are in my humble opinion simply the best steak you can have in the UK !
Very nice, traditional French restaurant in South Kensington opposite the Brompton Oratory. The food is delicious, in a traditional Paris bistro kinda vein, and the decoration has a flavor of Art Nouveau, giving the place a semi-authentic Parisian feel. The food is well-prepared and, while hardly at budget prices, is not too expensive. The restaurant also occasionally has special deals for diners so it's worth looking out for those. All in all, strongly recommended as a place for dinner in South Kensington!
Classical French restaurant with a calm interior and smart atmosphere. Henry Harris offers a variety of gastronomic delights (such as the delicious smoked duck salad) that can be appriciated with some champagne or very good french wines.
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