Cafe Colbert is the new kid on the block at Sloane Square and this being such a smart block the kid is very chic indeed. Opened just two weeks ago by the excellent Mr Corbyn and Mr King and following hot on the heels of their wondrously successful Zedel, Cafe Colbert has been long awaited. The site it occupies on the corner of the Square just across from that kitchen heaven David Meller, has lain empty for several years following the closing of Oriel it’s predecessor and there has been much speculation as to whom this prime site would go and what would open there.
What has opened is a neighbourhood French style brasserie with a short punchy menu and a rather noisy, busy feel, exactly as one might expect lunch in Paris would be if only you knew where to eat.
The tables are laid with white linen and the wine and water glasses are very beautiful, though I fear they will be changed before long as they seem way too fragile for such a busy place. The bread sticks are delicious, a sort thicker, chewy grissini, so easy to eat I asked for more. They are served with good butter and the food, and I have been twice, was also very good.
The menu is odd to my mind, but odd in a good way, allowing a huge choice of meals to be eaten at the same time. There is a whole section of the menu devoted to different Croques , one to chopped salads , some “bistro” food : moules frites and steak tartare, omelettes served all day and some serious dishes: veal chops, grilled halibut or cassoulet which appear alongside the caviar and the crispy bacon rolls. You could meet for late breakfast/early lunch/tea and cake thus catering for all the disparate needs of the modern family, while the black sheep uncle snacks on Beluga and blinis.
The oysters were some of the best I’ve eaten so far this year and the glass of Picpoul I drank with them excellent. I slightly preferred my chicken palliard with mustardy dressed green beans to the crab omelette I ate first time time round due mainly to the omelette being a little underseasoned for my tastes , though the use of fresh Chervil was inspired.
And there are puddings and more importantly there are biscuits and friandises on the dessert menu, so one can nibble a mouthful of sweetness with your excellent coffee without committing yourself to a full dessert. This can though lead to the passing round of plates of sables, madeleines and truffles, between the tables, accompanied by much air kissing and exchanges of greetings. Indeed I began to feel a little left out as no-one visited my table bearing gifts of a sugary nature and saying” they hadn’t seen me for months” and “isn’t this fun”. A true neighbourhood restaurant indeed when at least half a dozen tables seem to be on first name terms!
The celebrity count was high as you would expect but everyone was allowed to dine calmly with no bother and we all shared the same excellent service. A real sign of a classy joint. You’ll need to book or queue but it will be worth it.
50 -52 Sloane Square SW1W 8AX 020 7730 2804