BEING asked to review a restaurant which is part of one of the most successful restaurant groups on the Costa del Sol can be a bit daunting. Not that I’m afraid to give an honest and constructive report you understand, being a restaurateur myself.
Formally ‘Jacks American Brasserie’, a landmark on the front line, Brasserie Banus has changed its image completely earlier this year.
Not just a coat of paint and a picture of the Eiffel Tower, but a transformation. The American bric-a-brac and obligatory Statue of Liberty have been replaced with comfortable Gallic bistro-style furniture and French repro art.
Waiters wearing long French aprons all add to the street café scene.
We settled into one of the comfortable booths near the front (just to keep an eye on our yacht, you understand!!!) and our friendly hostess pointed out that for just six euros we could have a glass of Premier Cru Meursault. On reflection the wine itself was a little ‘tired’ — but due to its age as opposed to anything else as the bottle was opened at our table.
A distinctly French menu, there was plenty to make the grade: from the Toulouse Sausages to escargots de Bourgogne (snails) and from assiette de charcuterie to moules frites, of course.
We tried the cuisse de grenouilles (frogs’ legs to you!) which were served bread-crumbed with alioli sauce. Not my way of serving them to be honest. Old fashioned I may be, but they should be in garlic butter, parsley and white wine.
The snails however, were plump and seasoned well and much more to my liking, knocking socks off the smaller Spanish caracoles.
The steak tartare came from the starter menu but is an adequate main course for most. I make a mean one myself, but this matched it, and was pleasantly chunky (not minced as some so-called professionals chefs serve it) and seasoning was good.
The confit de canard (crispy confit of duck) was well described and similarly executed with the addition of garlic sausage, lentils and creamed potatoes. It might be more of an evening dish (given the bright sunny day), but it was tasty, as was the comforting classic pork with black pudding.
Fish lovers are catered for with a good old goujons of sole, as well as a rarely seen in these parts sole meunière. Veggies are catered for too, as were kids — not just with balloons and friendly staff but also a proper beefburger.
At the insistence of my fellow luncher we chose some desserts, he opting for the assiette of desserts, (some chocolate mousse, crème brûlée and lemon tart) —which deserved a glass of Sauterne — and my thin apple tart with vanilla ice cream was exactly that. Terrific.
Open seven days a week from 9.30 am until past midnight and with starters from around five euros and mains from ten, Brasserie Banus is going to be a definite hit. Exceptional value for front line Banus, all in all this is a place to return.
By Garry Waite
Calle Muelle Ribera
Tel: 952 813 625