I chose this restaurant for a quiet evening to celebrate my mum’s birthday, even though it was in an inconvenient location, I read some great reviews about the place and thought I should give it a try! Situated within a residential area in Battersea, Gazette offers simple, rustic French food in a relaxed setting.
After spending a great deal of time trying to reach Gazette, we were a little disappointed that our reservation has somehow got ‘lost’ (despite booking a week in advance) but we were reassured very quickly and seated in a cosy area surrounded by quirky little items like old books, bottles and even a rustic accordion! It was an interesting concept, which was further played on by serving all their food in rustic pots and pans and even large slates of wood. The restaurant put a lot of effort into creating that authentic look and I was interested to see whether the food would have that authentic taste. My starter of moules mariniere was a delicious classic combination of white wine, shallots, parsley and mussels served in a huge, steaming pot. I was very impressed with the size of the dish and it took me almost half an hour to polish off! My mum’s starter of duck terrine was also a substantial, hearty portion of a simple but tasty country-style terrine. Our basket of fresh, warm bread and creamy butter was a fantastic addition to both our starters; I particularly enjoyed mopping up my white wine sauce with the crunchy country bread!
Our mains of sea bass were tender and fresh and came on a sharing pan of beautiful steamed vegetables.
The mains were uncomplicated but still full in flavour, and the side of simply-cooked vegetables left me feeling full but healthy, giving me an excuse to indulge in a calorie-packed dessert! I had initially chosen a praline soufflé which was ironically described on the menu as “cooked with patience”. However when it arrived I found it was completely undercooked, a real shame as it looked impressive in size and smelt so delicious! After spending quite some time in getting a waiter’s attention, I replaced my choice with a crème brulee instead. It was less dramatic in appearance but had the classic flavour and texture as expected from a crème brulee.
Overall, the service was pleasant but a little slow. The food was simple but authentic and despite the incident with the soufflé (which is notoriously difficult to get right!) very enjoyable. The other customers were enjoying some of the theatre involved in the presentation of the food, including a sea bream cooked in pastry which was presented to the customer whole before being uncovered by one of the waiters at the table. If Gazette was in a more central location, I would certainly give it another go. As the menu changes on a daily basis, it would be interesting to see what the chef would serve up next!