Colbert, Sloane Square, decent nosh

My lovely wife and I have been here twice now and though there is a lot to like it falls just short of where it wants to be. Colbert is on the old site of the late largely unlamented Oriel which had a fun basement bar but London’s snootiest staff who seem to have moved on to Notting Hill. The new incarnation Colbert brings a litlle bit of Paris to Sloane Square. It's over the square from Peter Jones and next to the Royal Court so benefits from good footfall. Both times we were went it was packed. The restaurant is divided into two as you enter through the ornate doorway to be either sorted into the bar or dining room. We went dining both times though the bar looked very nice, the sort of space they have in France where you are just as comfortable having a coffee as a pression. The dining room is brasserie 101 with tables close together and more seating at the rear on a raised platform. We were shown to nice tables and well looked after by the staff particularly after we noticed the Maitre D was Grazianno who used to run the room at Langan's back in the glory days.

We ordered the same dish on each visit, Steak tartare and it was very nice indeed. Really well seasoned with a nice egg yolk on top. It came with a decent portion of crispy frites and a fairly disappointing salad. It's not just a fault in this restaurant most places stiff you on the salad. I do wish they would give you a proper portion of salad on the side. With dishes like this or steak I’d much rather have a nice big salad than the chips. However the meal was nice and proof of that is that we've been back twice for the same delicious dish. Now having said the service was good, they do like to turn the tables here. Our first visit was done and dusted in 45 minutes, the second time we lingered longer but the staff were rather too ready to remove plates the moment we finished which I found a bit annoying.

This last time we shared a cheese plate which was nice but slightly marred by some pathetic looking grapes that they really shouldn't have bothered adding. I was however impressed that despite calling their filter coffee the dreaded 'Americano' they actually serve it from a coffee jug like a proper filter coffee. Value wise it's not amazing, both bills came to over £100 for two, I minded this during my intial 45 minute meal but the second time it felt a better value dining experience. I was annoyed the add a cover charge though which to me is only slightly less heinous than double tipping. I’d go back though, it's nice in there and a good place to people watch. It is most certainly a huge improvement on the old Oriel however they need to relax the service a bit and ensure every dish is worthy of the fine surroundings.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Overall rating
Food 7 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 6

We go here a fair bit as it is solid and dependable. despite being busy all day they always seem to find you a table. 

The Shed, Notting Hill, good but veering at times into Emperors New Clothes

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