Browns Brasserie is a student favourite in Kingston. Situated with uninterrupted views of the river Thames, it’s a great place to enjoy some tasty food and just watch the world go by.
With such beautiful views you forget for a moment that you’re in London at all.
I was invited as their guest to sample their brand new menu, which is available now.
To start, I chose the duck liver parfait with red onion marmalade and toasted brioche(£6.95) whilst my partner opted for Devon crab on toast.(£8.95)
The parfait was exceptionally smooth and creamy, it had a silky, melt-in-your-mouth texture and a strong but not overpowering duck flavour.
The deep purple, sticky, sweet onion marmalade cut through the intense rich pâté adding a deeper flavour, this combination, spread on some lightly toasted brioche, was perfection.
The Devon crab on toast was equally delicious. The crab was flaky and soft and perfectly seasoned. I enjoyed that brown crab was used because it packs a far bigger flavour punch than the white.
My main meal was probably the most disappointing of all the dishes. I chose the steak and Guinness pie with bubble and squeak and crisp prosciutto ham (£13.95).
I can rarely resist a steak pie so I had high hopes but sadly I was distinctly underwhelmed. The pastry was light, buttery and crisp but the pie filling seemed very watery.
A steak pie to me should have a thick, rich sauce with big pieces of steak and vegetables. However, my pie seemed to be mostly carrot and mushroom with very little steak.
The bubble and squeak was very crunchy which made a pleasant change to regular mashed potato. But overall, the pie was nothing to write home about.
My partner’s main meal was exquisite. He chose the Browns Fish Pie with Salmon, prawns, scallop, Isle of Man Cheddar mash, garlic, Parmesan, parsley crumb (£15.25).
I have never really enjoyed fish pie but this one takes the cake. The fish was perfectly soft and packed with flavour.
The scallops in particular just melted in your mouth. The sauce was creamy but not too rich and seasoned to perfection.
The mashed potato had a delicious extra crunch with the parmesan and parsley crumb. Overall the dish had perfectly balanced flavours and great texture.
To finish, the chocoholic in me forced me to order the trio of chocolate; warm chocolate fondant, white chocolate pot, chocolate ice cream with a hazelnut praline (£8.50), and my fruit loving partner ordered the apple, cherry and almond crumble with vanilla ice cream (£6.50).
I have a major sweet tooth but even a sugar lover like me had their limits tested slightly with the trio of chocolate.
The chocolate fondant was perfection: warm, gooey and rich. The ice cream cut across some of the richness but was equally as sweet and I wasn’t sure whether the white chocolate pot was a pudding or something else but it was very thick and very sweet.
The crumble was soft and warm and packed with lots of fruit. The almonds added a lovely crunch to the crumble topping.
The fruit was sweet with a hint of spice from the cinnamon, the balance of fruit and sweetness was perfect as you got the natural taste of the fruit without it being too tart.
Overall, our meal was delicious. The service was fast, efficient, friendly and knowledgeable.
It is a lovely place to spend the afternoon or evening with friends and family enjoying good food.
You pay for what you get, which is high quality food. For a student it may be a little pricey (our 3 course meal for two was over £70 including one glass of wine and one soft drink).
But if you appreciate excellent food then you know that comes for a price.
Browns is the perfect place to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or even graduation. It’s far from being fast food, it’s sophisticated and elegant but still a chain restaurant so it’s not too intimidating.
Wait for your parents to come for a visit and suggest Browns for a dinner out, that way you get to try their great new menu without worrying about the bill.