I love a good steak and I hate the kind of people who believe you need to spend an excessive amount in order to find a good quality slab of meat, especially in London.
I set out to disprove this theory and was recently proved right as I sampled the tasty French food on offer at Chez Gerard. I had always dismissed Chez Gerard for some reason and would never have picked it as a first choice but when entering the charming, Parisian-style restaurant I was quickly proved wrong.
Firstly the food is good, really good, and once inside you feel a bit like you’ve been transported to a classy restaurant somewhere in the French capital.
The menu is full of tempting dishes but I would highly recommend the steak. Depending on your budget you can choose anything from the Onglet (£16) (which for those of you not up to speed with your French lingo is also known as hanger steak and best served rare) right the way up to the Chateaubriand for two people which is a 16oz beast.
If you’re not a steak fan there’s plenty to keep you entertained, take the sea bass, mussels or slowly cooked melt-in-the-mouth boeuf bourguignon and even one or two healthy-looking vegetarian dishes like the timbale of carrot and courgette filled with spinach, roasted red peppers and a creamy goat’s cheese sauce for those less keen on meat eating.
To finish it off there’s a desert menu to please even the fussiest sweet tooth and I went for the classic tarte au citron which was fresh, zingy and delightful but my friend had the poire pochee – a beautifully cooked pear desert cooked in mulled wine syrup and a mandarin sorbet which left me fighting with food envy.
To wash it all down there’s a vast selection of alcoholic drinks to take your fancy. From delicate French cocktails to rich red wines – there’s a drink to match any budget and dish.
I went down to the Chez Gerard on the South Bank and it was a welcome change to the chainy restaurants down there. The décor is clean and fresh but traditional and the staff fell over themselves to be friendly and helpful (but not in an annoying way).
It’s perfect for a late lunch or a Friday treat away from the office and you can have two courses off the a la carte menu for £15.50 or three for £19.50 if you go in before 7pm.
It’s less pretentious and expensive than many French restaurants across London, but classier, tastier and all together more enjoyable than many other French chains and it won’t break the budget.
This article was originally published on Who’s Jack.