What a surprise to stumble across this quiet independent haven of seagrass and sunlight in the midst of the pile-’em-high chains of the Oracle!
The London Street Brasserie occupies 2 canal-side stories in the centre of Reading, and was the setting for an impromptu family celebration. We sat down to enjoy the immensely good value set lunch menu.
The young staff were friendly and completely unphased by my gluten-free diet, presenting me with a well-prepared menu with the gluten-free options highlighted, as well as those that they could adapt easily. I am now quite unused to having this amount of choice on a menu, which was a very nice problem to have indeed!
I opted for half a pint of prawns and mayonnaise, which arrived fresh, large and plump in a small tin bucket of ice. Delicious, although 12 large tiger prawns is somewhat too large for a starter. This was followed by a fillet of salmon. By this stage I had lost count of the glasses of champagne as the staff wordlessly topped me up, and the champagne welcomely cut through what was quite an oily piece of fish.
My buttons were about to pop off, but this was a celebration and I always feel i can justify dessert when there are some options on the menu for me, so chose an old favourite, creme brûlée. My appetite was whet again as i could faintly hear the sound of a blowtorch from the kitchen. The largest creme brûlée i have ever seen was placed in front of me, and i was rather thankful that i wasn’t able to have the homemade shortbread that would usually come with it. (they put it on a little plate for my dad :)) The dessert was heavy with vanilla and and a wonderful texture, with fine crisp caramel. Sadly i was defeated by the size, as was one of my companions by the incredibly rich chocolate mousse.
So overall an enjoyable experience, wonderful attention to my dietary needs, but rather too large on the portion control.
Riverside Oracle, 2-4 London Street, Reading, RG1 4SE