Breizh Restaurant is a popular and lively restaurant that’s been a bit of an institution on Perth’s High Street for many years serving delicious, unfussy food with a Breton influence, such as galettes (buckwheat crepes). It’s now under new management and the interior has been given a fresh new look by owner Vinod Mathew, with changes to the menu coming soon too. So Perth City Centre asked me to pop in and check out the changes. As my husband’s birthday was fast approaching, what better time to sample its cuisine and wine list (and get brownie points into the bargain)?
We book a table for the Saturday of the annual Perth show, so the city is busy with locals and visitors. After a quick aperitif at The Venue just round the corner (well, it is his birthday!), we pop round to Breizh. It’s busy and lively, too, but with a relaxed atmosphere.
A friendly waiter greets us at the door and shows us to our table by the large picture window (which has a great view up George Street to Perth Museum & Art Gallery). The décor has been revitalised in a fresh and contemporary grey-and-white palette, with pops of red on the seats and upholstery. The new monochrome logo is in honour of the colours of the Breton flag.
While we’re browsing the menu, I order a gin and tonic and Mr C opts for the delicious Breton cider, which always arrives in a striped china cup. For wine with dinner we order a bottle of 2015 Fleurie, a light silky red packed with berry flavours.
Being a French-influenced restaurant, there is a fine choice of seafood including mussels, a smoked-/cured salmon duo, pan-fried scallops and a seafood soup. There are also escargots (snails with garlic butter), a chicken liver parfait or a poached egg with smoked pancetta and baby onion jus.
Mr C opts for the seafood soup, a rich, ochre-coloured bisque packed full of tender white fish and served with croutons and alioli (a creamy garlic sauce).
I’m vegetarian, which can occasionally be a bad word in French dining, but I spot the Superfood Salad which sounds intriguing. It’s sliced avocado on salad leaves, surrounded by fresh red chilli pieces, toasted seeds and flaked almonds, pomegranate seeds, creamy dots of feta cheese, quinoa and wild rice. It must be the healthiest starter I’ve ever ordered and it’s very tasty.
To follow, although I’m tempted by one of the pizzas I can’t miss the chance to check whether the galettes are still as delicious as always, so I order the Chèvre, a savoury crepe which is tucked round a sauce of sunblushed tomatoes and marinated artichokes and topped with grilled goat’s cheese and peppery rocket. I’m happy to report that this galette is just as good as before.
Mr C chooses from the Boeuf (beef) section of the menu a Faux-Filet de Boeuf, which is a sirloin steak from Highland cattle. It’s well-prepared, tender and succulent, and served with peppercorn sauce, a flatcap mushroom, creamed potatoes and grilled tomatoes on the vine.
We’re pretty full after our starters and mains, but there’s always room for pudding, isn’t there? We both love a crème brûlée so we order the Pistachio version as we finish our wine.
While it’s being prepared we have a chat with owner Vinod, who tells us he took over the restaurant in December 2016, having previously worked in hospitality in Edinburgh and St Andrews. When he arrived at Breizh he got straight to work devising a fresh new look and taking on more staff. A firm supporter of local suppliers, Vinod sources from producers such as George Campbell & Sons and tells us that a new menu is on the way in the next 2-3 weeks. The wine list will also be refreshed, with a special and unique range of wines.
Vinod then goes to get our dessert and presents it with a flourish – and we see that the chefs have prepared it on a board with a raspberry coulis and “Happy birthday – all the best” piped in chocolate! It’s a lovely surprise, and a fitting way to end our evening.
If you’d like to try some fantastic French hospitality and cuisine, Breizh also serves breakfast, coffees, teas and lunches as well as dinner. They’re open from 9am on Monday to Saturday and 11am on Sunday. Pre-theatre is available from 5pm – 6.30pm. Follow them on Facebook to keep up to date with new developments, and follow Perth City Centre on Facebook and Twitter to be first in the know about everything happening in Perth and Perthshire.