I was so sad when Bellanger closed. I may have even cried. The crying jig might have coincided with being dumped so it’s possible I was being overly dramatic, but still, I was very sad regardless.
A while ago I wrote about Bellanger and my love for their super-food salad, link here – Déjà Food at Bellanger and this week, about a year after they permanently closed their doors I sat in their comfortable booths with a view of their shining bar, and yet again, ordered the super-food salad.
Bellanger has changed. For all intents and purposes it is the same, It’s still feels French, has similar decor with perhaps more an artistic bent a la Brasserie Zedel, another restaurant under the Corbin and King umbrella. They still bring delicious baguette and butter, unasked, to the table, and the menu is bordering on the familiar.
The biggest change, for me at least, is the vibe. It still feels luxe and glossy, and the service is still impeccable, but also, they seem to have relaxed a little. No longer do I go there feeling a little out of place among the slightly stodgy business men wheeling and dealing over lunch. It doesn’t feel staid at all, it’s bustling, the air is lighter somehow. Younger. Fun.
The super food salad has changed too. There seems to be more fruit, blueberries, segmented orange, dried cranberry and pomegranate and less seeds and nuts, less avocado, no broccoli. It has close to the same delicious citrus dressing, but the flavours are all a little different with the added fruit. It’s easier on the jaw, and eating it feels like less work, but at the same time, and I don’t know if it’s because of this, or even the visual psychology of it being spread out on a flat plate rather than piled high in a bowl, it feels a little bit less substantial. It was still tasty, and I enjoyed it. But I would be lying if I said I didn’t spend the lunch eyeing up my friends steak and frites which were, to enhance my food envy, cooked to perfection.
Bellanger has for now opened up and as a pop up until Christmas, and under the circumstances, I really can’t blame them wanting to test the waters before they commit. That being said, I hope they continue to stick around for a long while. It might break my heart if they leave again, and no tears of mine should ever have to fall over any man or restaurant. Next time I visit though, I’ll probably get the steak.
Bellanger – 9 Islington Green, The Angel, London N1 2XH
You can book via the website – HERE