I’ve been a fan of Corbin and King restaurants for a while now – these are the two chaps who made the Ivy what it was in its heyday who then went on to open The Wolseley, Brasserie Zedél and The Delaunay to name but a few.
Bellanger is their Islington outpost and it sits just off Upper Street opposite Islington Green. It’s a gorgeous, cavernous space with green Reisling glasses on each table and wicker backed chairs. There’s a small terrace out the front and after a short wait in the bar area with a glass of Meteor Blonde (Kate Moss just happened to be there too) we managed to get a seat out there.
The other draw is the whole restaurant is dog friendly which is handy as we are dog sitting little Harley. Without suggestion they bring him a water bowl and homemade Bellanger-branded dog biscuits which go down a storm. It’s the little touches.
The menu is large with a nod to the Alsace. We start with a couple of tartes flambées, which are moreish thin crisp breads. The ‘Alsacienne’ (£5.50), comes topped with onions and bacon, a flavour combination which never goes down badly. Munster et Échalotes (£7.75), Munster being a properly potent soft cheese, is lush.
For main, I go for the chicken schnitzel (£15) which comes with lingonberry compote. The sweetness, along with lettuce in a tangy dressing (£2.95), and chips (£4.95), salty enough to make your lips red, is the perfect blend of flavours. The schnitzel is massive too.
Grilled chicken paillard (£13.75) comes covered in a herby dressing. It’s nice and light; perfect for the Summer weather. Steak tartare (£17.50 for a large portion) is bold with its seasoning, the meat being coarse giving it texture. We’ve had it a few times and it’s reliably good.
Whether you’ve got a dog in tow or not, Bellanger couldn’t come highly recommended enough. It’s the sort of place where you’re looked after as soon as you walk through the door, where your tap water is always topped up and you’re guaranteed a solid meal. Hell, if it’s good enough for Kate..
Would we go back? Yes