Marylebone – Hard to pronounce, home to secret single yellow lines for easy car parking but full of stuff to do from shopping on Oxford Street, the sights of Harley Street and also home to the stunning Marylebone Hotel. This stylish Doyle Collection property is somewhere we can luxuriate and discover their acclaimed rooftop terrace suites, 18 metre pool and spa treatments. But let’s leave that for another time.
Today, we review 108 Brasserie, set on the cobbles of Marylebone Lane with ample outside tables for people watching all year round and an elegant Parisian feel. We really like that 108 Brasserie is open all day long so you can pop in anytime like we did for a late lunch at 4pm, just because it’s a weekend and we can.
We started at 108 Bar with a gin martini using ultra smooth Mary-Le-Bone London Dry gin. We had our eye on the Firestarter – A cocktail served warm with Courvoisier V.S.O.P. and a flaming home made plum compote. We also tasted their very own home distilled 108 Gin and even watched the distillation process from botanicals to beverage at the bar.
The new globally inspired menu is a crowd pleaser with a large eye catching Josper Grill section, which locks in moisture and gives meat/fish a wonderful char grill flavour better than a barbecue ever will.
To start, a generous warming risotto with butternut squash, blue cheese and toasted pine nuts. A steak tartare had a delicious twist of crispy capers and a delicate quail egg yolk for texture. Make sure you order the bread selection as there is a rather special Guinness brown bread in there which deserves a place in the next series of The Great British Bake Off.
We couldn’t resist the allure of the Josper Grill so we tried a tender, juicy rib eye steak with a moreish blue cheese sauce. We also enjoyed a creamy, rich Massaman curry with tiger prawns and rice.
The kids loved the vegetable side dishes as they were “much better than the ones we make at home!” This is because spinach arrived delightfully creamed, savoy cabbage bejewelled in bacon and a lettuce salad adorned with a tangy green goddess dressing. No pressure to recreate this at home then! To end and reward the munchkins’ vegetable consumption, a gooey, dense dark chocolate fondant came with popcorn ice cream.
Overall, what we love about 108 Brasserie is… everything, especially the attentive friendly service. Marylebone is littered with places to eat but they can sometimes be rather stiff. Don’t get us wrong, stiff always has a place in life but for a relaxed yet luxurious experience with superb food and cocktails, 108 Brasserie is where we want to hang out on Saturday afternoons after a spot of shopping on Oxford Street.
To book and discover more, visit: www.108brasserie.com
By Mark Captain