Le Deuxième review: Succulent European fare in a relaxing restaurant in bustling Covent Garden
Covent Garden isn’t normally the first destination that comes to mind when thinking of a quiet evening meal thanks to its long association as being one of the biggest tourist draws in London. However, on a recent Saturday night, I found Le Deuxième to be a surprisingly tranquil and relaxing place to dine. Of course, this probably doesn’t apply to the pre-theatre crowd for the early seatings, but for a post 7.30pm meal, you’ll find Le Deuxième is an appealing venue that makes you forget you are even in such a tourist hotspot. The restaurant serves European fare and has been a popular pre-theatre place to eat since opening in 2001.
A group of girl friends and I recently visited Le Deuxième for one of our party’s belated birthday celebrations. Arriving at 7.30pm, we were shown to a cosy table by the window looking out over Long Acre. Immediately upon arrival, we all commented how quiet – audibly rather than lack of customers – it was given its location on the bustling street. Low lighting, pristine white tablecloths and candles made for an enticing and more upmarket feel than I was admittedly expecting.
We had booked our table through TopTable, giving us a three course set menu deal, including a Kir Royale for £27.50 which was very good value for the quality of food. For a set menu, there was a lot more choices than usual and it took us quite a while to decide what we wanted. Although the waiter returned a few times to see if we had made our minds up, there was no pressure or sign of impatience from the staff. To start with, I opted for the Halloumi, baby spinach and pear salad. I’ve had the combination of fruit and savoury starter only a few times in my life, but I must say the fusion of the two is surprisingly delicious and I savoured every mouthful of the dish.
For my main, I was torn for choice between the many fish dishes but as I didn’t have a huge appetite, but eventually decided on the Pan Fried Hake with Kedgeree. The hake was cooked to perfection, was light and melted in the mouth. The subtle flavours of the kedgeree complemented the dish well, with a little sauce to round it off. For sides, myself and my party shared some sautéed spinach and mashed potato.
Finally to finish, there was only one choice for me, an oldie but goodie – crème brûlée. The last time I had eaten one was in Paris and it was way too big a portion, so I was thrilled with Le Deuxième’s perfectly sized dessert which was tasty and therefore swiftly demolished! Just the right combination of crunchy topping and creamy goodness underneath. To accompany our meal, we ordered a bottle of Prosecco as we were in the mood for celebrating. Overall, we ended up spending about 3 1/2 hours in the restaurant so it turned into quite a lengthy session. However, thanks to good company, friendly and patient waiting staff and delicious food, the evening flew by. My only issue was the service charge at 15% was slightly higher than I would expect. Overall, my party were unanimous that we all enjoyed our dishes and would be happy to return.
- Le Deuxième, 65A Long Acre, Covent Garden, WC2E 9JH. Nearest tube: Covent Garden. For more information and booking, visit Le Deuxieme’s website.
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