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Brasserie Roux Restaurant Review, Sofitel London Heathrow

Brasserie Roux
Sofitel London Heathrow
Terminal 5
London Heathrow Airport
Tel: 020 8757 5029

Turning up at an airport without a suitcase is an unusual feeling. With the weather as bad as its been recently I couldn’t help looking at the departures board and wishing I could head off somewhere warm and sunny. Terminal 5 is unlike any other terminal at Heathrow. It is vast and spacious and has a really pleasurable environment, with no queues, plenty of shops and bizarrely, hardly any people.

The Brasserie Roux (situated inside the 5-Star Sofitel Hotel, just adjacent to the arrivals area of the terminal) is somewhere close by to dine in relaxed and attractive surroundings. The Roux name has long been associated with culinary excellence and Albert Roux is behind the scenes here, putting his personal stamp on proceedings. Once inside, the restaurant is set in a spacious and airy steel and glass atrium; the theme is eclectic and contempory, with neutral colours, subdued drum style lights and an intimate atmosphere. At one end there is a water feature which has a magical effect of completely insulating the restaurant from any aeroplane noise that may be taking place outside.

If time is of the essence, as it so often is with travelling, there is the ROUXPRESS Menu. It can be, as the name suggests, served immediately and is also a great way to eat well inexpensively. Choices included shepherds pie, ballotine of fois gras, sea bream in a red wine sauce and a selection of cheeses, which priced at £19.50 for three courses seemed a relative bargain.

Luxurious surroundings call for indulgent behaviour so we kicked off proceedings with a perfectly chilled glass of Laurent-Perrier Cuvee Rose Brut Champagne. This made the fact that the only travelling I was doing later that day was back home a little easier to swallow. The menu is substantial and should please most palates. The ten entrees included a crab salad with mustard and jelly cucumber, and a pike mousse with a puree of mushroom and lobster sauce. I began with a classic French onion soup finished with cream and cider. It was perfect for the winter’s night outside; sweet and creamy with a lush thick interior and satisfying flavour. Foie gras came served with honey roasted figs and was rapturously received by my guest. To accompany this we tried a very palatable rich white wine from the Catalan region of France, La Soula Blanc, with satisfying and pleasant woody overtones.

For my main course, I tried one of the specials of the day, pan-fried belly of pork, served with wild mushrooms, creamy mash and a rich tarragon jus. A satisfying plate of flavours, the meat being very tender and proving a wonderful accompaniment to my glass of rich and fruity spiced French Pomerol. My guest’s rack of lamb with roasted garlic and ratatouille came very well cooked and was served with French beans and spinach.

Often I can’t find room for pudding but I had metamorphosed into a self-indulgent mood. From a choice of six, which included chocolate crème brulee and rum baba, I chose a perfectly prepared British classic, apple crumble served with cream. A glass of Sauterne with its beautiful honeysuckle notes blended splendidly.

There are also two private dining rooms. One is larger than the other (The Saloon Privee) and would be suitable for a corporate event, while the Chef‘s Table seats ten. Once installed it is possible, with a crafty flick of a switch, to have a fascinating voyeuristic view into the kitchens. The evening was thoroughly enjoyable and I would strongly recommend it. Just a word of warning - it is all too easy to forget you are at an airport so be careful not to miss your flight!

Louise Elgin. November 2008
A meal for two with wine and water is around £90.00
ROUXPRESS Three course rapid menu £19.50 per person


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