If you are looking for an elegant restaurant for a reasonable price then Zedel restaurant is a great option. Its owners describe it as “a grand Parisian brasserie transported to the heart of London”, and with a grand and excellently decorated decor you can be forgiven for forgetting you are in the British capital! Just in case you think this introduction was a bit too positive, I should mention I have no connection with the venue other than it being on my list of top recommendations in London.
Located off a side street from Piccadilly Circus and with a fairly bland entrance it’s the type of place you will never come across unless you are looking for it. Walking past a small café in the entrance you’ll find some stairs. At the bottom there’s the cloakroom to your left, a small prohibition style bar to your right, and straight on the huge dining hall itself. [FYI cloakroom is free with tips.]
It’s a good idea to book ahead on their online reservation service. It’s usually much easier to find a table for two at the last minute, but with larger groups you need to book days or weeks ahead. In the past I’ve just turned up and waited by the bar until a table for two was free but it’s not the best idea if you’re trying to impress a date! At the internal bar there’s a great selection of wine and a couple of interesting beers. The bar staff are really friendly. Whilst the food itself has some reasonably priced options, the drinks are at an average or above average price point, with the separate prohibition style bar (bar américain) being on the expensive side.
So onto the food! For a tasty but not mouth-watering 2 course meal it’s just under £10 and £12.50 for 3 courses – impossibly good for this standard of restaurant in this location. Aside from the set menu most dishes are between £10 and £25, with deserts in the £4-£6 range. You can see the full menu (with prices, unlike many online menus!) here on this page.
The ambience is buzzing with well-dressed people. I often overhear quite a few American accents, and it also seems to be a popular place for first dates if you judge from a sample of couples’ mild awkwardness! You can usually spot some smaller faces from the big screen if you look closely.
They hold regular cabaret and jazz shows. You can find these listed on the events page on their official website. I haven’t been to any myself, but judging from a queue I passed one night expect they are more targeted towards couples over 30. From the events I checked on the website most shows are priced around £15 a ticket.
So overall I would say this is a great place for a 2nd or 3rd date. It’s a bit too formal for a first date, and the tables are too close to avoid the possible embarrassment of a really awkward date. It’s also really cool to go with friends in a small group or splash out on cocktails in the Bar Américain for a special occasion.