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Brasa (Restaurant)

Picture of Brasa in Fulham, London

474 - 476 Fulham Broadway, Fulham, London, SW6 1BY
Cuisine: British
Tel: 020 7610 3137 | Email to Brasa | Transport: Fulham Broadway | Write review

Brasa Review

Best for: meat-lovers; and lovers in west London.

Great: playlist; side dishes; cocktails.

When was the last time you thought about Manchester? To my mind, I’ve not thought about Manchester for a good two or three months. I’ve thought more about Redditch. I’ve thought more about Boris Becker. I’ve thought more about kangaroo boxing.

But on a recent chilly Tuesday evening I couldn’t stop thinking about Manchester. I was in Brasa, probably the best restaurant in Manchester, only it’s not actually in Manchester, it’s in Fulham Broadway, which is in London. And as it is in Fulham Broadway and not in Manchester, it should be relegated from best Manchester restaurant to 2nd best Fulham Broadway restaurant (it doesn’t quite hit the high marks of My Dining Room. I’m not boasting. That’s actually the name of a restaurant).

So Manchester, why was I so mad for it? Explanation: the crunching noise we made when biting into the welcome bread was loud enough to be heard by the late-twenties-ugly-haircut-probably-works-in-IT-poor-fashion-sense-yet-obviously-has-something-special-in-the-engine-room-as-he-was-certainly-entertaining-his-rather-attractive-dining-companion chap across the room, even above the restaurant’s din. He looked startled. Was this the world’s loudest bread? Maybe he wasn’t startled at all. Maybe his funny face was part of an impression he was attempting for the benefit of his league-eschewing date.

It wasn’t really a din either. It was more a riot, albeit unpredicted, of joyous swaggering Manchester bravado. Primal Scream followed Oasis followed Stone Roses followed Verve; the music played throughout the meal - at a level more akin to a less formal establishment (a pub, basically) but all the more welcome for it - made us feel Supersonic. And yeh, we wanted gin and tonic.

Advised contrarily, we started, gleefully, with a Burnt Down Tennessee cocktail (orange infused Jack Daniels, Grand Marnier & homemade marmalade) and an Avante Garde cocktail (champagne, two flavours of vodka, lavender syrup & pomegranate juice). Rhyme that lot, Gallagher!

So the bread was more Take That than New Order; the menu - collated by a Head Chef who trained under Marco Pierre White - was plentiful enough to require the enjoyable task of wrestling with potted rabbits, organic Poole oysters, and Mersham pheasants as they wildly pranced and danced off the page. Oddly though, the macaroni cheese was offered as a side dish for the venison shank and the steak. Hmmm, maybe next time, eh?

However, when it arrived on a chopping board, that imposing but manageable venison, although exceedingly palatable and as tender as a new mother, was barely warmer than these very remarks. It was saved somewhat by the Le Riche Stellenbosch Cabernet-Merlot, so chalk this one up as The Tings Tings; some elements are gratifying, some are not.

The 9oz Longhorn ribeye, however, was all Elbow and Doves: genius! It was requested as medium and arrived as just that. The accompanying beef dripping chips had a nostalgic aroma of youth - Buzzcocks forever! - and it was nice to see the appearance, as a support act, of roast fennel, which has a bright future ahead of it.

Earlier, the smoked ham hock & butter bean starter had been as bland as Simply Red, whereas its triumphantly gooey, hen’s egg and spinach salad counterpart was like reforming The Smiths, only with Ian Curtis back from the dead to take the lead from Morrissey (thank goodness!).

The desserts had a decidedly David Gray appeal to them, so up stepped a 7-piece cheese board with quince, chutney, and Duchy Original biscuits. At £9.50 it clearly favoured sharers. I didn’t share. I was overdosing on cheese. Chemical Brothers to the power of The Charlatans. Oh Lord, carry me home!

Aesthetically, Brasa was dim, well-spaced, and suitable for non-vegetarian dates. However, it was disappointing that a restaurant based around an imported Basque Mountain Asador Grill - Brasa meaning ‘live coals’ – had no smells or theatre to witness. Why keep this flaming beast dormant? Let’s see it breathe fire, for goodness sake!

The parts of the interior that were visible were reminiscent of a New York loft scene, similar to Farringdon’s Redhook restaurant & bar: iron pillars, wooden floors, a smidgeon of bar brick, and a grand view of an advertising board out the window.

For the prices stated on the menu, it’s perfectly acceptable to expect overall superior standards of food, an atlas of a wine list, breakneck service (water arrived before we’d finished asking for it), and those miniscule fabric hand towels in the toilets that help to save the environment, or help to kill it, I forget which. Luckily, Brasa has all this, but it also has a palpable sense of incompletion peeling from the walls (a menacing draught in the men’s, fire alarms going off, volume control of the Manchester playlist never constant, menu inconsistencies). Had it been a Monday, perhaps we might’ve been completely Happy.
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Customer Reviews for Brasa

Average (based on 2 votes): 2 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of Brasa.

“What can i say what a restaurant. I have never found such a great atmosphere around London in all my life. The food was to die for, it was made to such a high standard the beef melted in my mouth and the staff were so laid back and very friendly and easy to talk too. This is defiantly the restaurant to visit.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Christian blyth, Leeds (7 years 5 months ago)

“Loads of room between the tables at this restaurant so it makes for quite an intimate affair, but not so much that you feel removed from the buzz. The steak was amazing and the banana split was a sight to behold. Very good wine list too. A tad expensive but a bit of class in west London”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Robert Saw, Chiswick (7 years 10 months ago)

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