Casse-CroÃ»te is a tiny little French bistro on Bermondsey Street which couldn’t be any more Gallic if it tried. The staff are French, the menu’s French, the radio in the background is French; on our visit for a Saturday lunch with the sun shining, it actually felt like we were on holiday.
The daily changing menu, written on the blackboard, featured three starters, mains and desserts. We skipped starters however, much to the dismay of our waitress, and opted for some of the freshly sliced charcuterie instead. Coppa, Jesus and Saucisson (Â£5 each) were all great pieces of pig with a really strong flavour. Some slices of French stick sprinkled with poppy and sesame seeds went down a treat with it – but you have to ask for the butter FYI.
For main, I opted for the selle d’agneau (Â£18.50) which was slices of beautifully cooked lamb atop a vibrantly orange sauce that consisted of red pepper and coconut. It was the sort of dish you wanted to last forever; the flavour of the rich fatty lamb with the sweet pepper sauce was utterly divine.
The rabbit, or lapin Ã¡ la moutarde (Â£15.50), had an equally lovely sauce and some of the creamiest mashed potato I’ve ever encountered. The rabbit itself was masterfully cooked and the mustard didn’t overpower it one bit – it was a really tasty bowlful of food.
I love the charm and character of Casse-CroÃ»te but my only niggle, and it’s quite a big one, is the price. We really fancied some rosÃ© but they only had one bottle on the list – and that was Â£36 which seemed awfully steep. And the lamb at Â£18.50, although delicious, didn’t seem good value. For a tiny bistro like that I’d like to eat there every week, but at those prices, it stays firmly as a ‘special treat’ kind of place, which seems such a shame.