I’m buddies with a guy from work called Luc. He works in our office in Belgium, and when I told him that I was going to dinner at a Belgian restaurant called Cafe Luc, he said quite seriously, “everything good from Belgium is called Luc.”

And so it was armed with this knowledge that I scooted down Marylebone High Street last Friday evening, rugged up in my grey jersey dress, tights and boots (because yes, the dreaded chill has begun), ready to experience what the “only Belgian owned restaurant in London” had to offer.

Stepping into the father-daughter run restaurant, the atmosphere immediately feels welcoming, with dark hardwood flooring and deep brown leather lounges. The ambience is somewhat reminiscent Eastside Inn (whose closure I am still grieving) – comfortable but sophisticated, coupling grandeur with the casual-schick of waiters in jeans and pressed white collared shirts.

Perusing their dinner menu, I’m pleasantly surprised by the variety of dishes, including four different fish dishes, not that I ordered any… I mean, confit duck was on offer, people.

To start, Panu had the Cornish crab tian, with avocado, tomato dressing and topped with half a quail egg. Not only is the dish beautifully presented, it was also delectable, with a perfect blend of crab and avocado, laced with a delicious tomato dressing.

My starter was far more of a mystery. I actually ordered the terrine grand-mere, which consists of finely chopped pork and chicken liver. What came out was anything but a terrine and definitely not the chopped up innards of piglets and fowls.

Instead, I was presented with what appeared to be sliced herring and artichoke, served on toasted sourdough bread. I didn’t send it back because it looked interesting enough and in fact was also reasonably tasty. What makes the mystery is that upon studying the menu again, I could not find this dish listed anywhere.


Onto the mains and out came my star of the night, confit duck des landes, with summer cabbage and spicy jus. This leg of duck was seriously the meatiest leg of duck I’d ever had, with very little fat and presented atop a mountain of cabbage (which I love). It was also a deceivingly huge portion, but I managed to inhale the lot without too much effort 🙂

Panu’s steak tartare a la minute was far less exciting. It looked promising, a mountain of minced steak, a perfectly round yolk, flanked by little piles of olives, pickles, sauce and what-not. He found it too bland though, a distant cry from some great tartare we’ve had at the likes of 1901 or Pershing Hall in Paris.

A mention of the sides: spinach blanched to perfection, maintaining  its full flavour and not overwhelmed by salt; frites were thin and fried to crispy goodness; greens, which look utterly boring, but actually covered in a deliciously light balsamic dressing.

Already full from my scrumptious duck confit, I could have gone without dessert but really? Would that really be me? Hellz no.

So I ordered the roasted pineapple with coconut sorbet and pistachio. Unlike some who abhor having pineapple warmed (think Hawaiian pizza and tropical burgers), I love having pineapple in anything and paired with coconut, it’s like a pina colada heaven, but better.

Panu ordered the petit fours, a selection of hazelnut financiers, canele de Bordeaux, almond biscotti and chocolate truffles. The plate looked kind of boring in various shades of beige, but apparently the taste was anything but boring, with the chocolate truffles leading the pack.

Overall, the service was polished, save for a waitress with a heavy accent who we honestly (and awkwardly) could not understand, and aside from the steak tartare, dinner at Cafe Luc was thoroughly enjoyable with the room quickly filling up throughout the course of the evening.

Would I return? Yes, yes I would, if nothing else but to find out what the hell that mystery starter was all about.

* I was invited for dinner by Cafe Luc.

Cafe Luc
50 Marylebone High Street
Marylebone, W1U 5HN
0207 258 9878

Cafe Luc on Urbanspoon

8 Thoughts on “Cafe Luc: because “everything good from Belgium is called Luc”

  1. LOL I love the mystery starter! looks very good though and how boring is it anyway to always get what you order 🙂 I had really decent food at Cafe Luc too, amazing chicken in champagne sauce… reminds me I have to go back there for more.

  2. How pretty is that pineapple dessert? Looks like a dancer with a flared up skirt… love how thinly they managed to slice the pineapple. What wouldn’t I give to be able to do that (without cutting off my fingertips).

  3. Hahaha, that mystery starter is hilarious. I was trying to figure out how exactly it could encompass finely chopped pork and chicken liver, but am at a loss… unless it was so finely chopped you couldn’t see/taste it? Maybe that’s it, Catty.

    Looks delicious, though! Another one to add to the list!

    Jax x

  4. HungryinLondon: LOL yes, well, if we always ended up with mystery courses that would make things more interesting! I’ve heard mixed reviews about the chicken and champagne, I must admit it looked alluring on the menu.

    Su-yin: Isn’t it pretty? I thought all of their dishes (except the spinach but what can you do with that?) were presented beautifully 🙂

    Jackie: Definitely no pork and chicken liver in that. I have a great liver radar… love that stuff!!

  5. Did you not ask them? I don’t think I could handle being given HERRING if I’d psyched myself up for offal. That’s got to be the pinkest tartare I’ve ever seen, it would give Barbie a run for her money!

  6. i want me some luc! and it doesn’t have to be a cafe. grin.

    i’m not familiar with belgium cuisine. the food seems very french – don’t get me wrong, it’s all verrry good -but i’m wondering if there was a belgium highlight.

  7. Sarah: You know what I didn’t. I didn’t ask when it first came out because I thought I’d just eat it and check the menu later… when I checked the menu at dessert time, we got that waitress who couldn’t speak english very well and I didn’t want to get into it! and yes, that is pink tartare!!

    Judy: LOL well, Luc’s do appear to be pretty good 😀 Yeah Belgian food is very similar to French so you’re not far off!

  8. does it make me a bad person for looking at the chips (or french fries, whatever floats your boat) the most, even at at 10 in the morning? probably.

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