There was a time that eating in a department store would have been seen as a bit naff, but not anymore. Brasserie of Light is the finishing touch, the cherry on the cake, the angel on the tree, of Selfridges’ £300 million renovation and it’s every bit as special as that sounds.
Caprice Holdings are the brains behind the restaurant, and with the likes of the Ivy collection, Balthazar, Scott’s and Sexy Fish under their belt, Brasserie of Light follows a similar design ethos – namely, more is more. As any self-respecting restaurant group would, they commissioned Damien Hirst to create the 24ft crystal encrusted Pegasus sculpture that flies overhead. With a 30 ft wingspan, you’ve probably seen it as you’ve walked past outside, but it’s even more dazzling up close.
There’s a central buzzy bar, perfect for an aperitif, as well as the more formal but still very high energy all day dining room. We were here for dinner so began with tuna tacos, which were in reality, more like tuna nachos. Corn tortillas, assembled in a row and topped with chunks of raw fish and drizzled with avocado cream and sesame seeds. Perfect cocktail fodder if ever we saw it.
Moving onto more substantial starters, we devoured a basket of fried chicken with more avocado and sesame, this time by way of a tangy dip. Scallops were more elegant, sitting pretty atop a little mound of red peppers, roasted fennel and capers.
Mains range from a tried and trusted burger through to a £50 wagyu steak – this is a crowd-pleasing menu designed with everyone in mind. We settled on a comforting bowl of lobster spaghetti, expecting to have to forage for the meat ourselves. In reality it came de-shelled with great big chunks of the seafood tossed throughout a rich, chilli flecked tomato sauce. Flat-iron chicken with truffled mashed potato hit the spot, served with a little gravy boat of mushroom sauce. Desserts up the wow factor with OTT presentation designed to delight the table and end up on Instagram. The ‘Orbit’ looked like a beautiful planet from a solar system far, far away. Once you can bring yourself to smash the shell you find a dark chocolate mousse, hazelnut ice-cream, milk foam, popping candy and honeycomb pieces. Why the hell not!
If you like the Ivy group, you’ll surely be dazzled by Brasserie of Light. There’s certainly no other department store restaurant we’d rather have a reservation for.