Guest Post: RESTAURANT REVIEW: Drunch, Mayfair
Forget Brunch, in France a new trend is growing – out with the late breakfast and early lunch, and welcome the late lunch and early dinner. This fusion all sounds very refined and at Drunch it is.
Walking around the Northern fringes of Mayfair on a Saturday afternoon, Drunch is rather unassuming in its guise. A plain white exterior is the peripheral of a sleek and minimal internal design with black leather and shabby-chic gold frames to decorate. Downstairs, Drunch is reminiscent of a high-end nightclub and contains a private “Living Room” area with intimate vaults that can be booked and come with their own flat screens for entertainment.
At Drunch the aim is to bring the best of Modern European flavours to busy Londoners via fresh and healthy food. While there is no obvious French connection, it does boast a shisha lounge and strictly Halal meat.
In a city where people don’t wake up before their first coffee, Drunch makes a mean cappuccino that delights in its sweet, smooth and creamy finish. Juices and smoothies arrive, unsettlingly, in small, sealed plastic bottles which does not represent “freshly squeezed” in the usual way. The Refresh, which contained strawberry and basil lemonade has a strong citrus kick but could have done with a bit more strawberry. The Banana and Date smoothie was the highlight of our drinks with a perfectly thick texture and a delicious natural sweetness.
Tea is served in dainty pots with a centre strainer containing your desired choice; we sampled the Fresh Berry and the Orange Peel, Mint and Cinnamon, both thoroughly robust and tasty choices.
The starter of a meagre and tired looking Seasonal Fruit Platter (which remarkably contained strawberries and blueberries) was better assisted by a Dipping Platter – lightly toasted sunflower seed bread and delectable homemade pots of humus, olive tapenade, butternut squash cream and salsa.
As the most expensive item on the menu, you do get bang for your buck with the Mixed Grill Platter. Accompanied by chargrilled vegetables, pitta and dips you are guaranteed not to go hungry. The turkey rashers were very popular adding distinct flavour and smokiness, and the much praised lamb kofta was left until last to be appreciated wholeheartedly in its juicy, minty wonder. The pork chop, sausages and chicken skewer were all tenderly cooked and contributed greatly to the bounty of flavours on offer.
Sirloin Steak was medium-cooked and arrived pre-cut with a generous serving of Béarnaise sauce, offering up purple sprouting broccoli on the pleasantly firmer side of al dente and perfectly golden, perfectly seasoned chunky chips. It must be pointed out that the menu advertised sautéed potatoes, and this was not acknowledged.
A firm favourite of ours, Drunch provided the best Vanilla Cheesecake we have ever experienced. A large heart-shaped portion recommended to share, it boasts hints of anise and liquor so subtle yet successfully adds another dimension to this classic. A thick biscuit base was also much appreciated.
Ideally a place to nurse your hangover Drunch does not serve alcohol, and hangover drinks proclaiming secret ingredients are also attempts to prove that alcohol isn’t a necessity when trying to have a good time – the food should achieve that by itself. It does, or more accurately, it will. Like any new venture, teething troubles are normal but with a lustrous design, a great menu and relaxed, friendly staff Drunch have all the assets of a Mayfair staple.
Drunch, 1 Woodstock St, W1C 2AB. Nearest Station: Bond St
By Clarissa Waldron