And Then There Was Light.
Shopping these days, as we all know, is a little different to the good old days. Wearing a mask and having to queue up to get into the supermarket takes some getting used to. On a recent, and first trip since ‘lockdown’ to Oxford Street, I’m pleased to find it busier than I expected. I’m not here for a browse though as I’m meeting a friend in Brasserie of Light in Selfridges. I’ve always found Selfridges quite a thrilling shop to wander around. There is so much potential to shop ‘til you drop (and get yourself into some serious credit card jeopardy at the same time!) and now that numbers are limited it’s actually an even more pleasant experience to peruse all its lovely wares. I spent a good 10 minutes gaping at the boxes of chocolates on offer but knowing I was about to eat a big dinner stopped me from buying anything.
Brasserie of Light is situated on the first floor and is dominated by a huge crystal encrusted Pegasus. Designed by Damian Hirst it has a 30 foot wingspan and soars over diners. The restaurant is brasserie-style and has a large bar and leather booths and seats which are now protected from one another with Perspex screens. A bottle of hand sanitiser is on every table and it feels safe and clean. The waiters are friendly and efficient, and we’ve barely said our hellos before we have a chilled glass of Champagne in our hands.
The menu is a problem though. In that it’s literally impossible to choose. Suffering as I do from massive food envy it’s probably a relief to my dining companion that I decide to order the same main as her! For starters though we have tuna tacos – rolled pieces of raw tuna on a black tortilla chip – and grilled chicken dumplings. Both fresh, fragrant and tasty. For our mains we have miso black cod served with pickled fennel and a side order of steamed rice and red quinoa. The cod is melt in the mouth tender with a lovely sweet salty marinade. The menu has an excellent range of the classic dishes you’d expect in a good brasserie – steaks, chicken Milanese, risotto and so on but with an occasional dish like the miso cod or an aromatic duck Massaman curry to shake things up a bit.
For dessert we opt for Eton Cheesecake which serves two and is a twist on an Eton mess with strawberry, pistachio meringue and white chocolate. It is presented on a silver platter with a jug of strawberry sauce and the chocolate surround has stencils of a mini Pegasus. It actually serves three in the end as it beats us and I leave with a doggy bag to take home to my grateful partner. Visiting Selfridges is even more of a joy now I’ve discovered this gem of a brasserie and it’s definitely given me more confidence to get out to shop and eat in the West End again. And seriously, you really need to see the stunning Pegasus for yourselves.