What: Pan-Asian cuisine in the heart of Charing Cross; the name is from the first Duke of Bronte otherwise known as Lord Nelson of Trafalgar whose statue is located mere metres away from the restaurant. If that ever comes up in pub quiz remember to credit us with that titbit of knowledge.
New? It’s survived it’s first year, having opened in July 2016.
Where? The Grand Building, 1-3 Strand, WC2N 5EJ www.bronte.co.uk
On the Menu: If you go at breakfast you can expect more of a European feel to the menu than pan-Asian with salmon and scrambled eggs, and light fluffy buttermilk pancakes although the pan-Asian nod can be seen with dishes like truffled wild mushrooms, white miso and truffle wild mushrooms on sourdough. The dining and lunch menus have taken inspiration from all of Asia so expect to see anything from spicy tuna maki to dumplings to aubergine bao buns to the intriguing sashimi pizzas.
The Look: Floor to ceiling windows cover the foyer area in natural light, further inset lies the bar with a wall of illuminated alcohol and the restaurant that also shares the space all designed by famed designer Tom Dixon. With an interior theme of a collector’s house to create a unique personality for each area of Bronte, there are unusual decorations dotted around including a female mannequin, clothed only in an open kimono and painted on glitter pasties to protect her modesty, who loomed judgementally over our table at dinner.
What We Ate: All the food comes at once and I don’t know where to start with tempting and aesthetic options covering the table; we are mocked by an elderly (probably 40s) dining neighbour for taking pictures of our food but those Insta likes are worth a little ribbing from those not digitally in the know. The most unique dish was definitely the salmon sashimi pizza with Yuzu Kosho, pickled cucumber, daikon and truffle aioli; it seemed like the perfect balance of being a decadent oddity and menu showstopper. The tuna sashimi was served on a crispy flatbread in lieu of pizza dough while the truffle aioli sauce kept it a fresh and authentic Japanese experience so it delivered on its promise of being a standout performer. Vegetable tempura is a must do when properly committing to feasting, while at attempt to balance out the health metre with grilled green courgettes was short-lived with the accompanying black sesame tahini and truffle paste which was highly moreish. The edamame and truffle katsu bao bun was a delightful vegetarian option served with truffle aïoli, coriander and spring onion; surprisingly filling.
It was hard to narrow down the decent sized dessert menu as every option received a mental tick. The ultimate winning decision went to the kaffir lime arctic roll (zesty and fresh) and the triple chocolate bomb (sweet and great for Instagram and we know I’m all about the Gram).
Go With: If you’re showing out of town friends around the sights of London, Bronte is a great place to stop and re-fuel before continuing your tour of the local attractions.
Final Word: The food is surprisingly high quality for such a touristy area but that works in its favour. Many a time I’ve been discovering a new city and in an exhausted daze just wandered into the nearest semi-decent looking restaurant only to be disappointed with their offerings. Anyone soaking up the sights of Traf Sq should be delighted to have something like Bronte so readily available.
Bronte: The Grand Building, 1-3 Strand, WC2N 5EJ