The hardest thing I find about writing blog posts are those first few paragraphs. You know the ones, setting the scene, adding a bit of back-story of they whys and why nots and a maybe a throw a little snippet about me into the mix. Sitting here trying to come up with those few paragraphs about Cafe Luc has been hard. I simply heard about a new place opening up in Marylebone on the grapevine and then my good friend Charmaine asked me if I wanted to go with her for work. Underwhelming stuff, and unfortunately, this is probably the most exciting thing you will read from this point in.
Located just round the corner from Harley Street, Cafe Luc (an offshoot from the Le Pain Quotidien) is a brasserie charging Harley street prices. With the interior as sterile as the medical facilities the next road along, we perused the menu and chose our starters. Averaging around a tenner each, I ordered a simple goat’s cheese starter on croutons, a snip for a mere £8.90. Pleasant, but not £8.90 pleasant. Charz's crab tian was alright, and for someone who dislikes the crustacean as much as I was palatable. The centimetre thick layer of crème fraiche, however, was an unnecessary and cloying addition.
My main course of chicken supreme was tender and combined with the sweet champagne sauce made for a very average main. The mushrooms were advertised as black trompettes but look suspiciously like chestnut mushrooms. We perused them quizzically and If I had known what they were meant to look like, I would have kicked up a fuss for sure. Oh and a mysterious looking hair was dismissed by the maitre'd as a hair from the mushroom. Do mushrooms even have hair? The addition of a lemony pappardelle on the side was the highlight of an otherwise droll main, freshly made and with good bite, this was excellent pasta.
Desserts were another disappointment. Crème Caramel was sloppy with air bubbles throughout, watery caramel and probably the most alcoholic grapes I have ever had the misfortune in trying. It should have come with a warning to keep away from open flames. "Pineapple" was just that, a hunk of pineapple with a pineapple mohican and some coconut sorbet. The advertised pistachio was absent, but by this time, I don't think either of us could give a monkeys.
So there it is, a boring if expensive meal. I'm not sure as to the final bill as C paid, but I anticipate it was about £40 a head without alcohol. Over priced, underwhelming and unsatisfying. Dull.
Cafe Luc - 50 Marylebone High Street, London W1U 5HN