Brasserie Malmaison in the Malmaison Hotel in Clerkenwell has a lovely little spot overlooking the adorable greens of Charterhouse Square. A self-styled luxury hotel, the Victorian exterior of the hotel is charming and inviting. The limited road access to the hotel also helps to ensure low noise levels.
Once inside, you hit the lobby, and to the right are stairs leading down to Brasserie Malmaison in the basement. In contrast to the exterior, the restaurant’s décor looked tired and the lighting could have been better.
We started with a reasonably priced Cornish crab starter (£9.50). There was a lovely fresh, sweetness in the crab which had been dressed with a mint and shallot dressing. However deep-fried avocado fritters proved bland. The dish would have worked better with a no-frills simple accompaniment of ripe avocado.