Restaurant of the Week: Bar des Prés – Mayfair

Words by
Sophie Stoneham

14th December 2022

Bar des Prés is French chef Cyril Lignac’s first venture across the channel. We dropped in to experience first-hand why he is such a superstar in France, and it not just because of his famed patisseries, as SPHERE's Sophie Stoneham discovers.

Nestled in the heart of Mayfair on Albemarle Street, Bar des Prés has been in business since May 2021 and is now so well established, that on the Tuesday we visited, the place was packed. Given the deliciousness of the food, and the convivial atmosphere, we are not surprised. It truly is the ideal spot for post work drinks at the bar with delicious sharing plates and ideal an for intimate date night, but make sure to request a seat for two in one of the navy velvet booths.

Belle Epoque cocktail
Belle Epoque, a gin-based champagne cocktail.

Cyril is famed for his heavenly patisseries, but more on those later. This menu has a strong focus on Asian dishes with a touch of French. After a warm welcome we chose a couple of cocktails to get us in the mood. Their Belle Epoque, a fresh gin-based champagne cocktail and the recommended Cosmocat, vodka based with aloe vera, yuzu, vanilla and bitters were both exceptional.

Cyril Lignac
Chef of Bar de Prés and host of French TV show Le Meilleur Pâtissier, Cyril Lignac.

We started the evening with their melt-in-the-mouth marinated seabass with yuzu, dry miso and rocoto (£17) and a delightful yellowtail carpaccio (£16). Both were delectable and hard acts to follow.

A plate of Yellowtail carpaccio

Yellowtail carpaccio

A vibrant plate of yellowtail carpaccio (£16)

So of course, we were presented with one of their bestsellers, an exquisite crunchy crab & avocado galette with a creamy Madras curry dressing (£23). We were pleasantly surprised when our knowledgeable sommelier, Margaux Loriguet, produced a serious red Burgundy (2013 Gevrey-Chambertin La Justice, Marc Roy - £16) really complementing our outstanding starters.

Crab & avocado galette

Crab & avocado galette

Crab & avocado galette with a Madras curry dressing (£23).

It was very difficult to resist the caramelised black cod with miso and baby spinach (£35) and we were recommended the tender satay beef fillet with lime condiment (£38) with a powerful vanilla mashed potato. Margaux’s selection demonstrating its flexibility, working well with both dishes.

Profiteroles with chocolate sauce and Chantilly cream.
Profiteroles with a sumptuous chocolate sauce and Chantilly cream (£14).

As a Parisian and keen follower of Chef Lignac I was eagerly anticipating our pudding. Margaux started showing off with her choice of accompaniment, a crisp 2021 Muscadet (Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie – La Cuvée Lucien Bernard Maillard). His incredible profiteroles with a velvety chocolate sauce and Chantilly cream (£14) were given the tough task of preceding the most famous millefeuille in London: vanilla millefeuille with pecan nut praline (£16) – an absolute showstopper.

Vanilla millefeuille with pecan nut praline.

Vanilla millefeuille with pecan nut praline

The most famous millefeuille in London- Vanilla millefeuille with pecan nut praline (£16).

After all that, we suggest you pop downstairs to the decadent subterranean lounge beneath Bar des Prés to settle into a little digestif, with the sound of French tunes. Close your eyes and you could practically be in Paris in the 50’s – time to book that Eurostar and visit Bar des Prés in Paris now.

Bar de Prés