The Brompton Bar and Grill isn’t the sort of down and dirty den of iniquity that we usually associate with the green liquor, this a genteel, sophisticated bistro on the Brompton Road between South Kensington and Knightsbridge, not the backstreets of turn-of-the-century Paris but their cocktail list is a thing of beauty. All manner of absinthe twists are here – both as aperitifs and after dinner delights.
We tried the house caipirinha – traditional recipe except with a big hit of aniseed green and ‘Death in the Afternoon’ – a straight up mix of absinthe and champagne. The caipirinha was sweet and sour, the demerara sugar competing with fresh limes, before the absinthe smacked you straight between the eyes. Death in the Afternoon was appropriately named and could have caused us to expire at any time of the day.
However, one does not come to the Brompton merely to drink; you may come for the cocktails, but you stay for the food. Soft shell Devon crab was smooth and creamy but quite fishy – either a good or a bad thing depending on your outlook, and the steak tartare was served ice cold, the capers adding a slightly pepperiness and the tabasco adding a little fire.
The main courses were equally good, the duck breast in plum sauce was flavoursome and the guinea fowl was rich and perfectly cooked. Both were served with vegetables and the portion sizes were very generous.
The service was attentive without being fussy and made us feel very welcome indeed. This isn’t a cheap restaurant, but one that we have no problem going back to again and again, great service, great food and great cocktails. If only it was a little cheaper, we’d eat here every week.
243 Brompton Road, SW3