This December, Julien Imbert will take over the kitchen of Tower Bridge institution, Le Pont de la Tour. Drawing on his extensive Michelin starred experience, Julien will combine traditional French cooking with a modern approach as he heads up the menus of the Bar & Grill, the Restaurant and in the new year he will announce a new concept for the bakery, and the Le Pont de la Tour wine and food store.
Toulouse born, Julien learnt his craft from the ground up as he trained in butchery for two years before setting his sights on the kitchen, landing his first junior role at London’s Sketch. Following lead positions at both Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and Berners Tavern, Julien was appointed Head Chef at Jason Atherton’s City Social. This proved to be a shrewd appointment with City Social winning its 1st Michelin Star within just four months of opening.
The new direction of menus will see Julien recreating some comforting French classics in the more informal brasserie style Bar & Grill. Menu highlights will include; Steak tartar; Mussels with white wine, Dijon mustard and saffron; Slow cooked beef cheek, with mashed potato and red wine sauce; and Croque Monsieur served on brioche bread with a mornay sauce.
In the main dining room, Julien introduces a menu of modern French cooking. Gone are the crepe suzette trolley and the towering soufflés, and the new approach will see dishes such as; Gigha halibut with curry velouté, mussels, and gruyere crust; and Salt marsh lamb, braised shoulder, black garlic emulsion and lemon yoghurt. Taking centre stage will be a whole duck, where diners are treated to the bird shared between two, with a confit leg salad.
“I am thrilled to have taken over the kitchens at Le Pont de la Tour, which has played such a key role in London’s dining scene since it’s opening nearly two decades ago. I have kept the foundations of the menu true to the fundamental principles of French cooking, whilst also introducing modern elements that are reflective of French cooking today. We will begin anew, partnering with some incredible producers, from small dairy Farmers in Brittany for the best cheese and butter, Flying Fish in Cornwall for the finest fish and seafood, along with Turnips and other Borough Market suppliers for vegetables and meat. I look forward to celebrating this new chapter at Le Pont de la Tour in the very best way we know; with great food, and good wine!” says Julien.
A newly appointed front of house team will be led by General Manager Fabien Battut, accompanied by Sommelier Paul Fauvel, previously of Celeste at The Lanesborough. The excellent value wine list will be concise, and in the main French, offering many wines by the glass and magnum also.