Page 45 - Poole Audi Feast Magazine Edition 2
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Brasserie Blanc
Winchester is becoming a Mecca of dining alongside its medieval charm and a relatively recent addition to the already abundant choice of restaurants and gastro pubs is the inimitable and highly charismatic Raymond Blanc OBE and his high street proposition Brasserie Blanc.
Cast aside your notions of invisible executive chef or high street chain and picture Raymond on site, knowing the names of all the sta  in all the sections over two  oors and talking through his menu and aspirations for this, one of eighteen Brasserie Blancs, which he has opened since 1997.
Feast was fortunate enough to meet Raymond to discuss his vision for the brand: “Brasserie Blanc is value for money. A quality restaurant that the family can visit, monthly for example, that is casual, fun and seriously a ordable.
“The team here is everything to me and it is a priority that I retain them over the years – I love to see them go through the ranks as their passion for good, honest and seasonal food grows, proud of their own achievements.”
It is worth taking a moment to appreciate Raymond’s own achievements, which include his Oxford  agship, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons that has held two Michelin stars since 1984, his highly acclaimed cookery school and his numerous books on speedy cooking, healthy cooking, Christmas, kitchen secrets and his life!
And indeed Brasserie Blanc – we concur with Raymond – is fabulous value for money.
Raymond’s entrée ‘classiques’ of salade blanc, cheese sou é and Mediterranean  sh soup are all under £7 for example. Take it up a tad for the steak tartare and potted shrimps at under £9 a pop and you’re still feeling the value – the potted shrimps quite a delicacy as is the potted crab – rustic presentation that is fun to eat.
His ‘plats’ have a strong meat in uence with a section dedicated to steaks – all chargrilled and 30-day dry-aged and carefully sourced from prime, pasture-reared, Cornish cattle. The menu also boasts a less used but most tender onglet steak (more commonly known in English as hanger steak). Sauces include béarnaise, Roquefort and pepper.
Having sung the praises of the 30-day ‘hung’, there is a fabulous range of seafood to choose from; lobster, moules, scallops and trout, all this alongside more casual dishes like the burger – if anything from Raymond’s kitchen could be so – and indeed this burger is from pasture-reared Cornish beef served with Compté cheese in a brioche bun at a reasonable £13.50 including French fries. There are plenty of other accompaniments and of course his desserts.
Pistachio sou é, classic baked tart au citron, chocolate and almond torte are a feast on the eyes and the chocolate fondant verging on the exotic – in presentation, elegance and  avour. Served with a glass of Muscat de Beaumes de Venise – a treat, as is the wine list that has a good scattering of New World wines too, good to see, and another little insight into the type of man Raymond Blanc really is – fair, honest and passionate about his craft.
Raymond is also an ambassador for Action Against Hunger – Feast’s own nominated charity – please read more about this on the page opposite.
www.brasserieblanc.com/restaurants/winchester
01962 810870
19/20 Jewry Street
Winchester
Hampshire, SO23 8RZ
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