Address: 39 King Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 8JS
Cuisine Type: Modern European
There’s never been a shortage of restaurants in Covent Garden but not all of them cater for more than hungry tourists resigned to being fleeced in London. The Palm Court Brasserie was a pleasant surprise therefore, when chosen almost at random as a central location for a large family party including adults, teenagers and one youngster. The venue itself is deceptive, stretching far back from the street to provide plenty of seating. Right at the far end it opens out into a room with a vast skylight, mirrors, foliage and cane furniture giving the impression of… well an art nouveau palm court, I suppose.
The overall decor is 1920s Parisian brasserie but the staff are predominantly Portuguese and they couldn’t be more helpful and charming (dare I say, unlike in most real Parisian restaurants). The menu is good, too with many brasserie classics, such as the range of steaks (from £14.95 to chateaubriand at £42.95 for two) with a choice of sauces.
There’s a good range of starters (£5.25 – £8.95) including beetroot and asparagus salad and pan-fried shredded beef with rocket, parmesan and cherry tomato salad, both of which are also available in main course sizes and come highly recommended.
Main courses range from £11.95 for moules & frites or haddock & chips, to £17.95 for Wiener Holstein (pan-fried breaded veal with fried egg, capers and anchovies) or duck breast with spring greens, chantenay carrots and bacon lardon broth. Good vegetarian options include risotto of pea and mint with soft crescenza cheese and mediterranean vegetable farfalle pasta (£10.95).
Puddings are classics too – creme brûlée, Valhrona chocolate tart and mint chantilly or ice creams and sorbets.
The wine list is well priced with a very good Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc at £24.95 but many less expensive options starting at £15.50. Prosecco is available at £5 per glass or £23.95 per bottle, and there are plenty of cocktails on offer too, including Alperol Sritz or a Bellini for £5.25.
We came expecting an OK meal at a price, but were very pleasantly surprised by what a good time we had – the food was uniformly good, and our party was handled with great good humour and professionalism. If you find yourself in King Street and want a good meal with great service, you can’t go wrong at the Palm Court.