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Casse-Croute

Posted on Monday, 21st September 2015

CASSE-CROUTE

Casse-Croute is a quaint and intimate French bistro located on Bermondsey Street, a street that ranks as one of my favourite streets in London for eating out. With the likes of José, Zucca, Antico and Pizarro all on Bermondsey Street, Casse-Croute faces up to some stiff competition. Casse-Croute is decidedly French, from the Francophile posters hanging on the walls, to the red and white tablecloths down to the red leather seating. The cosy placement of the tables also adds a level of intimacy to the restaurant. It’s a wonderfully inviting looking restaurant, a place that you could happily linger in for hours on end, and there’s no doubt that during the winter Casse-Croute is nice and snug. Their menu is small and changes daily, and typically boasts of French classics such as sole with hollandaise sauce and beef cheek bourguignon (which we tried).

For our starter we had the crab ravioli (£9.50) which was beautifully prepared. The homemade pasta was nice and thin, and the crab filling was fresh and tasty. As a complete package the ravioli was truly delicious and showed off tremendous skill. The sauce, made from a reduction using crab and lobster shells, was intensely flavoursome and was a delight to eat. The only problem was that there was not enough sauce to cover the pasta and consequently some of the ravioli tasted naked without the sauce. It felt like this dish had been plated up in a rush. The base of the pasta consisted of some samphire which was very salty and could have probably done with further soaking, etc.

Casse-Croute - London Food Blog - Crab ravioli

Casse-Croute – Crab ravioli

A main of beef cheek bourguignon (£15.50) was lovely. The beef was meltingly tender, and there was a good depth of flavour and richness in the jus. The bourguignon sat on top of a base of creamy mash. This was a wonderful example of classic, rustic cooking.

Casse-Croute - London Food Blog - Beef cheek bourguignon

Casse-Croute – Beef cheek bourguignon

Our second main was a lamb saddle (£18.50) served with artichokes and an anchovy butter. The lamb was nicely cooked and fairly tender, and the choice of anchovy butter was a good one as it added seasoning to the dish. But the jus on its own was very runny and could have done with further reduction for a greater concentration of flavour. Some parts of the artichokes had not been prepped properly and so were a little stringy.

Casse-Croute - London Food Blog - Lamb saddle

Casse-Croute – Lamb saddle

A fit tart (£5.50) dessert was a dull way to finish our meal. The tart consisted of cut figs and a layer of fig jam on a pastry base. The pasty was a disappointment as it was too thick and very soft and not particularly short. The figs were pleasant, but overall this dessert lacked appeal.

Casse-Croute - London Food Blog - Fig tart

Casse-Croute – Fig tart

Casse-Croute showed flair and there was a sound demonstration of classic French cooking techniques. That said, there were (for want of a better word) ‘errors’ which seemed to have come more from carelessness rather than a lack of cooking ability. As for the service, this was pleasant but slow. Both the starters and the mains took much longer to arrive than could be considered standard timing.

We visited Casse-Croute on a Saturday night but my dining companion had also gone to Casse-Croute the Tuesday prior. She told me that on the Tuesday she didn’t experience any slowness in the timing of the food delivery or the same type of ‘errors’. I believe that Casse-Croute is capable of better so I’d like to think that what we experienced were perhaps one-offs. Regardless, on the night of our visit, it almost, but just didn’t quite pull it off.

Summary information:
Likes:
1. The beef cheek bourguignon.
2. More sauce with the ravioli and this could have been perfect.

Dislikes:
1. The fig tart.

Food rating: 3.5/5
Service rating: 3.25/5

Prices: About £34 for three courses, excludes drinks and service.

Website: http://www.casse-croute.co.uk/

Casse-Croute Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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