Thursday 10 March 2011

Aubaine, Heddon Street, central London

A pricey Mediterranean bistro in the Heddon Street restaurant quarter just off Regent Street, Aubaine is well-placed and well-priced to milk well-heeled shoppers. With stripped floorboards and cream, wooden furniture, the cool, light interior has a slightly-distressed, bohemian air. The lunch menu has a well-balanced selection of familiar fish fillets and meat cuts, enlivened with appealing accompaniments. The pork chop (£14), for example, is served with spinach, apple and mushrooms. The roast cod (£18) with red wine, fennel and squid is very fresh, but a little bland and a little stingy for the price. The hungry will also need a couple of vegetable and potato side dishes, which are expensive at four pounds a pop. Still, as you sit down, the efficient, perhaps brusque, waiters, give you a basket of very fresh speciality breads, packed with fruit, nuts and seeds. Aubaine is urbane, but overpriced. 6/10