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New head chef and direction for Papillon

25 August 2009
New head chef and direction for Papillon

Chelsea-based restaurant Papillon has appointed a new head chef, Tom Hempstead, to lead a change of direction for the eatery.

Papillon has ditched its attempts at Michelin-standard food and launched a new brasserie-style menu focusing on good quality Parisian food.

The menu includes hearty salads with smoked duck breast, foie gras and gizzard confit and lighter options such as homemade Bouillabaisse and sole bonne femme.

Meatier dishes such as entrecote steak with bone marrow and red wine sauce or whole. grilled line-caught sea bass with fennel and Pernod are also on offer.

"Previously the restaurant was going for Michelin service but now we've stripped it down to a much simpler brasserie level and I think it works very well," said Hempstead. As a result, the average spend per head is now £45 to £50 with a bottle of wine.

So far, the relaunch and staff changes seem successful. Hempstead said: "It's a strange time of year with people away on holiday, so the new menu has had a mild start. However, people are now coming in the early evening and hanging around until later whereas before they used to move on. The terrace in the front is a nice place to sit and watch the world go by."

Hempstead produced the menu in conjunction with Herbert Berger, who he worked with at sister restaurant 1 Lombard Street.

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By Lesley Foottit

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