Langans Brasserie has been around for a while now and it still adds a bit of glitz and glamour for diners in Mayfair.
Langans Brasserie is situated in Mayfair, at the Grange Langham Court hotel and just around the corner from Green Park station. It’s a pretty swish and fancy-looking place from the outside, and it looks like the kind of restaurant that has been there for a while, which of course it has. The restaurant was a well known society haunt back in the day and continues to exude a bit of old fashioned London glamour. It’s suitably posh-looking inside without being too grand, with enough interesting choices of pictures on all the walls that you feel you could walk around and admire as in a gallery, plus nicely laid out tables with individual wine buckets. There are two floors, but each have the same menu.
There’s an eclectic mix of diners with dressed up tourists and more casually attired regulars. Evenings can be very busy so it’s advisable to book beforehand, although getting a table on the off-chance late on in the evening is sometimes possible. There’s also a nice, buzzy atmosphere to the place which, although most of clientele are well dressed for the occasion, was pretty informal and relaxed. A definite markdown for the maitre d', however, who can be quite surly, and on a recent occasion the table had not been properly cleaned. An army of waiting staff though, both friendly and competent, are very visible and on hand. The live band Thursday through Saturday nights adds a light background music contributing to a little of old school civility.
The downstairs menu is a mix of French dishes and old British favourites like bangers and mash, and it’s a reasonable if not an exhaustive menu of starters and mains. It’s not very vegetarian friendly, with usually only one vegetarian main on the menu, but the vegetarian starters can be doubled. The spinach souffle is a little bit on the dry side and could be a bit lighter in texture. The flavour is ok, but it suffers from too much anchovy sauce in the middle of the souffle, which overpowers the dish. Used more sparingly, the sauce would complement better. The Dover sole, in a little parsley butter, is perfectly agreeable without warranting any major accolades. The platter of vegetables, including potatoes, green beans and cauliflower, tastes fresh and is perfectly cooked, providing a good complement. For dessert the creme brulee definitely hits the spot. A nice creamy consistency, it gets better with every mouthful. Three courses with a good bottle of wine cost around £60 a head.
Langans Brasserie has a pretty decent selection of wines for most tastes. The Rioja certainly lives up its reserva billing and sparkles from the first sip. A light cheeky red with a hint of oak, you’ll instantly warm to it like a dear old friend. Probably a good wine for dishes like lamb or pork, although would suit most red and white meats.
The Last Word
Langans is a kind of place that makes dining out a bit of an occasion. The food is perfectly agreeable but if it’s more an all round dining experience you want then it’s well worth a visit.