Wellbourne Brasserie White City

Peter Morrell is very impressed with the food and location of this exciting new venture by two of the UK’s most dynamic chefs

Wellbourne Breasserie 1

Wellbourne Breasserie

Vol au Vents

Vol au Vents

Acclaimed chefs Ross Gibbens and Michael Kennedy who have founded Wellbourne Brasserie have worked in some of the UK’s leading kitchens including Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Launceston Place, The Square and The Vineyard in Berkshire. More recently Ross was Head Chef at Dabbous and Michael his Sous Chef.

Their first restaurant the Wellbourne in Clifton Village, Bristol has been a huge success and this was swiftly followed by the opening of Salardu a restaurant catering for winter sports enthusiasts in the Val d’Aran area of the Pyrenees.

Now Ross and Michael have brought their culinary expertise to the capital with the Wellbourne Brasserie in White City. I went along recently to meet the pair and to sample their food.

The new location is in a beautiful position overlooking a large green in the new White City Place development. There are four distinct sections of the restaurant, an al fresco terrace for eating and drinking in warm weather. Inside, which is flooded with light from the floor to ceiling windows, there is a comfortable bar, large dining space with open kitchen. The last is the Charles Packe room, designed for private dining, in a nod to Salardu it’s named after the Victorian explorer who chronicled his Pyrenean adventures.

I chatted with Ross and found out that one of the great benefits of having a Bristol based restaurant is the trusted group of West Country food suppliers they have developed. These sources are now using for the new restaurant, for example fish arrives every day from Cornwall, cheese is supplied by artisan producers and they even have a forager.

This access to high quality ingredients has allowed Ross and Michael to devise a unique all-day dining menu that offers affordable dishes which are cooked with skill and flair.

Sipping a glass of cava my dining companion and I perused the menu as we nibbled on Wellbourne Brasserie’s three signature vol au vents. Cloud like cups of puff pastry filled with broad beans, ewe’s cheese and mint, salt cod brandade and pulled lamb shoulder with violet mustard gave us an excellent introduction to the quality of the food.

The starter’s were innovative and varied, tempting choices were the freshly made buratta from their supplier La Latteria and the grilled Cornish sardines. My companion’s choice was the Beef tartare, confit egg yolk, mushroom and smoked virgin rapeseed oil. I tasted a little, it s seasoning was well judged and the beef had a good depth of flavour.

My chicken liver parfait with toast, grape chutney and white balsamic was as light as a feather and had precise, delicate flavours.

The mains were equally varied with about half cooked in their special Mibrasa charcoal oven from Spain. Dishes from the oven include cuts of dry aged Simmental beef, Iberian pork and a Barnsley lamb chop. Other options included traditional fish and chips, duck leg confit and veal Holstein.

Each day offers a different plat du jour which my companion chose, it was buttermilk chicken with salad, the meat was moist and tender and the salad crisp and fresh. My main was from the charcoal oven, the whole lemon sole, sea vegetables and brown butter. I will try not to use a cliché but the fish was genuinely seafresh direct from Wellbourne’s Cornish suppliers. It was juicy, uplifting, had lots of flavour and the salty tang of the coastal samphire complemented it.

Our wine pairing was glass of very fruity chardonnay which, as the food was all light, worked well.

I dithered with the idea of having a pudding, big pulls being the dolce de leche ice cream sandwich, millionaire shortbread and chocolate brownie ice cream but I finally decided on a plate of West Country artisan cheese featuring both cow’s and ewe’s milk. The flavours were good and strong and the sherry pickled onions as the accompaniment were a sensation.

I really liked Wellbourne Brasserie and am very pleased to see Ross and Michael bringing their extensive culinary skills to London. The food is bang up to date with current trends, the service from all the team is friendly and knowledgeable and the dining space comfortable and relaxing. It’s also remarkably good value for money, expect to pay £40-45 per person for a three course meal with drinks and service, for a quick bite at lunch time or early evening the Plat du Jour is a snip at £10.

Wellbourne Brasserie a welcome and valuable addition to the capital’s culinary scene.

Westworks Building
195 Wood Lane
London, W12 7FQ
0203 4174865