The Delaunay // Covent Garden // London

The Delaunay is one of those restaurants that is on ‘the must visit’ for many visitors to the capital, which is no surprise given its stylish yet relaxing dining room. For those who are looking for something other than one of the many French bistros proliferating London, the Delnaunay offers a more Germanic approach. Though like its sister restaurant, the Wolseley, there’s an eclectic choice of dishes, as well as a very attractive afternoon tea.

White asparagus, prepared in a Rhein-Pfalz style is a pleasing starter, covered with a tarty dressing of capers, lemon, olive oil and parsley mixed with breadcrumbs. The asparagus is overcooked and gooey as it should be and is livened-up with its zesty, textured topping.

Though it’s the omelette Arnold Bennett that steals the starters show. Perhaps one of the richest omelettes that you’ll ever eat, this traditional dish conceals flakes of poached haddock and is luxuriously covered with a grilled white sauce that is made with the poaching liquor; very tasty indeed. Small touches really add-value to what might have otherwise been quite an ordinary dish.

The choucroute à l’Alsacienne is the German nod to France on the menu, though the chef might be better to concentrate on his schnitzels and strudels rather than straying over the border. The choucroute itself lacks the acidic touch that a good example has, with certainly no champagne used in the cooking to give this effect. Though thankfully, the selection of sausages and belly pork is as it should be.

Chef can be forgiven though for his lemon and praline mille-feuille is a fantastic example of pastry work that is so often a letdown in the UK. The tangy citrus filling is just wonderful and perfectly offset by the sweetness of the almond and the light crunch of the wafers. The Delaunay is definitely worth a repeat visit for this alone.

Although it’s now one of many grand café style venues in London, the Delaunay certainly had its own charm and offers a unique different menu. Though like the others, it’s good to book at an irregular time so that you can enjoy a more attentive service and a less busy dining room.

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