We didn’t have high expectations going into Brasserie Gerard, we were basically looking for a quick, down to earth, dinner. Brasserie Gerard however managed to disappoint us.

We both ordered a medium steak (a rump and a rib-eye) and what arrived was well-done by any standard, let alone by French ones - inexcusable even as an oversight considering there were only 3 tables occupied. Apart from overcooked, it was also a bit rubbery - on the plus side the peppercorn sauce was respectable, and the pepper seasoning on the steak was a good touch (unless you don’t like pepper). The fries were neither great nor awful and the wine (we ordered a large and a small glass and were served in identical glasses, the “large” one full to the brim) was blunt. The service was curteous, but markedly unenthusiastic.

Even more so, the price tag is unjustifiable - we were looking for a French restaurant equivalent of a Pizza Express or Strada, and got a disappointing and pricey version of it: The steaks were £12-£14, and although I appreciate a good steak and I am perfectly happy to pay that price for a really good one, that was most definitely not it. The set menu seemed to be better value at least.

It is perhaps harsh to judge the entire chain based on this experience - the result in each restaurant undoubtedly varies depending on the individual cook, service staff and manager of each restaurant. It seems though that Brasserie Gerard is trying to hit a balance between a cheap eatery and a fancy restaurant and is spectacularly failing, by getting the food wrong and overcharging for the privilege. No wonder it was almost empty on a Friday evening. We won’t be going back in a hurry.