Words Are Mysteries
“My business partner Nigel Platts-Martin and I opened Chez Bruce in 1995. From the outset it was our intention to serve the very best food and drink but in a relaxed, informal, yet thoroughly orchestrated environment. Over the years we’ve been lucky enough to collect many prestigious awards and industry gongs, but it has never been our inclination to rest on our laurels. Restaurants aren’t about celebrity chefs, managers, owners or design; they’re about customers. In our kitchen, wine and dining room departments we only strive to improve. If one’s passion is truly rooted in the business, there’s no other option,” summarises co owner Bruce Poole. An Olympian 27 years after opening (restaurant years are counted in dalmatian years), Chez Bruce is certainly not resting on its many well deserved laurels. And today really is all about us, the customers.
Chasing the constellation around the world, it was inevitable we’d end up lunching at Chez Bruce, the closest Michelin starred restaurant to Chez Nous. Head Chef Matt Christmas, deliverer of well seasoned catholic French cuisine, and Head Sommelier Victor Barré, eclectic collector of good wines, bookend the meal while filling the lacuna with classic indulgences. Starry touches are the freshly baked warm parmesan biscuits with sourdough and rosemary focaccia at the primacy effect (start of a meal) and mandarin and shortbread party favours at the regency effect (end of a meal). Kingsdown sparkling water reminds us of Deal in Kent. Albariño is a catalyst for Spanish memories. Starter: Miso glazed aubergine with ginger, puffed wild rice, sesame, shiso and soy. Main course: Roast cod with truffle mash, leeks, garlic, parsley and soy. And pudding: Prune, almond and Armagnac tart with clotted cream. Truffly petit fours are one of many delights that delay our departure. As Mylène Farmer would sing, “Fixement, le ciel se tord.”