The Brackenbury is a discreet and elegant neighbourhood gem
Words Elysia Agnew
The Brackenbury restaurant is nestled between Hammersmith and Shepherd’s Bush on the quiet and tranquil Brackenbury Road. The restaurant is discreet, incredibly elegant and a real neighbourhood gem, as locals fill up the tables inside. It’s fairly small with simple yet stylish decor, set on two levels with a snug dining area to the rear.
On our visit, the sun is shining so we are seated on the front patio, a pleasant oasis decorated with plants and trees. The patio doors are opened wide, creating an inclusive feel and linking us with the restaurant’s vibe. The white-table cloth approach sets the tone for the fine dining to follow, and we feel like we’ve been whisked away to a stylish bistro in France.
The menu is a fairly small: a seasonal offering with a selection of simple, French-inspired dishes, paired and prepared with quality ingredients in mind. I opt for Cornish Assured oysters while my companion goes for pork, prune and pistachio terrine. The oysters are fresh and soft inside, and the salt sharpens my tastebuds. They are perfectly chilled, sitting on a bed of ice and served with a slice of lemon for a zingy punch. The terrine is packed with flavours. It’s fresh, delicate as the knife cuts through it and served with celeriac rémoulade, tagliatelle alla cacciatore and lightly toasted sourdough.
With the starter setting the standards for the main course, I stick with seafood – roast Dover sole with seaweed butter and samphire – while my dinner date chooses the meat option, an onglet steak, which is recommended medium-rare. The onglet, we are told, is farmed for its intense flavour and arrives rosy pink inside, accompanied by frites, salad and bearnaise sauce. The fish is light, fluffy and pulls off the bone with ease.
Something sweet to finish. We go for the chocolate, hazelnut and espresso torte, a multilayered marriage of mousse, cake and biscuit base with hints of coffee. Later, we select the savory option too – cheeses from Mons Cheesemonger. The chef prepares a unique selection according to my cheese preferences: Coeur de Bergère, Tomme Du Mont Pilat and Beaufort.
The Brackenbury is quiet, tranquil, and the perfect destination for tasteful al fresco dining in the summer months. The menu changes on a daily basis, making the most of the seasonal specials – so we’ll definitely be back again soon.