A few weeks ago my friend and I enjoyed a sophisticated pre-theatre dinner at Brasserie Zedel in Soho. The first appearances of this popular French restaurant are deceptive - entering at street level you find yourself in what seems to be little more than a laid-back bistro. Head downstairs, however, and you will discover a glamourous ball room, decked out in fabulous art deco style (complete with marble pillars and over the top gold detailing).
The menu features a good selection of classic French dishes, with everything from frogs legs to beef Bourguignon, and is very reasonably priced given the lavish surroundings and central location (you can get a main course for under £10, or 3 courses for £11.75 on the prix fixe menu).
I opted for the Choucroute Alsacienne: a heaped dish of sauerkraut topped with with chunks of smokey sausage, cured pork belly, and a rather large frankfurter. Meanwhile my friend went for the classic French combo of steak frites with a rich Bordelaise sauce.
For dessert, we ordered the poached pear with chantilly cream and the creme brulee.
I have to admit - the food, while good, wasn't mind-blowing. Instead, the real draw is the venue - the beautiful high-ceilinged room, the over-the-top decor, and the smartly dressed waiters all add up to a dining experience which is more than a little bit special. Definitely worth a visit.