»
S
I
D
E
B
A
R
«
Restaurant Le Flambeau 27 bis rue Frédéric Mistral Cabris France
Sep 17th, 2009 by Olivier

Restaurant Le Flambeau
27 bis rue Frédéric Mistral
06530 Cabris, France

06530 Cabris, France

Le Flambeau

Le Flambeau

Inside

Inside

Le Flambeau is a restaurant in Cabris, which is a nice little village located 30 minutes drive from Antibes or 45 minutes from Nice airport. There is a superb panoramic view from the village and you can clearly see the iles de Lérins in front of Cannes. I did not take any photo of the view since it was already dark.

Complementary olives

Complementary olives

We ordered a pizza 4 seasons (9.50 euros) and a brochette of gambas (16 euros) as main courses, followed by a café liégeois (7 euros) and a coupe Bali (9 euros) as desserts. We also had a big bottle of sparkling water San Pellegrino (5.90 euros) and a pichet (pitcher) of red Merlot wine (6 euros) which was quite drinkable.

The two main courses

The two main courses

Another view of the two main courses

Another view of the two main courses

Pizza 4 seasons

Pizza 4 seasons

The pizza wasn’t bad. It was a thin and crispy base, at least. But it lacked flavour and the topping didn’t compensate adequately (low quality ham). So it became a bit difficult to finish.

Brochette de gambas

Brochette de gambas

The brochette de gambas (shrimps on a skewer) was nicely presented (see photo above) with the metal structure hosting the 4 pots of sauces (mayonnaise curry, tartare, sweet and sour…) and linked to the plate giving its balance. The shrimps were good, not overcooked, and the vegetables were good too. I would have prefered them in their shell since I am a shrimp specialist but it was fine this way :-)

Café liégeois

Café liégeois

The desserts were very impressive. They were simply giant. The café liégeois was quite good with its mix of coffee, coffee  ice cream and chantilly cream. I am not a fan of chantilly cream but this one was light and enjoyable.

Coupe Bali

Coupe Bali

The coupe Bali (mostly mango and pineapple ice cream) was good, not too sweet and nicely balanced with the chantilly. A bit too big to finish though!

Cost and conclusion: it was 53.40 euros. No 12.5% optional service charge automatically added to the bill etc, we are in France and all prices are net (all inclusive). It was a quite relaxing dinner compared to eating in London and it is nice to be on vacation. As for the food, it was average but the desserts were great.

La Cigale Montmartre French restaurant 123-33 Itaewon-dong, Seoul, South Korea
Sep 3rd, 2009 by Olivier

La Cigale Montmartre
123-33 Itaewon-dong, Seoul
South Korea
02-796-1244

La Cigale Montmartre

Outside of restaurant

Outside of restaurant

Interior

Interior

La Cigale Montmartre is a French restaurant located in the Namsan (South mountain) area of central Seoul.  There are many foreign restaurants in this area – above la Cigale is an Italian restaurant, and right beside is an American buger joint.

La Cigale – Montmartre got its name because the French chef wanted to introduce two styles of French cuisine in Seoul: the Mediterranean style – La Cigale – and Parisian style – Montmartre. The restaurant is famous for their mussels and they are cooked in many different styles.

The menu reflects the two styles of cuisine. For example you can have the tartare de 3 façons (saumon, tartare de boeuf aux anchois et Saint Jacques au citron vert – salmon, anchovy, beef tartare & lime scallops – W24,000), the tarte salée de 3 façon (tarte feuilletée aux escargots, tuile parmesan au jambon cru & mesclun, quiche – puff pastry with snails, parmesan crisp with salad and prosciutto quiche scallops – W35,000), the foie gras de 3 façons (terrine mi-cuite, escalope de foie gras poêlé aux pommes, en crème brulée – foie gras terrine, one slice pan fried with apple and foie gras custard cream – W35,000), the traditional soupe à l’onion du bistrot (onion soup – W12,000), the salade niçoise (olives, thon, anchois, oeuf, tomate, poivron, laitue – olives, tuna, anchovy, artichoke, egg, tomato, lettuce – W16,000). Then we have grilled dishes like the filet de boeuf grillé et escalope de foie gras poêlée (grilled beef tenderloin with pan seared foie gras, 150gr of Australian beef – W40,000), the entrecôte au grill, sauce bleu, poivre vert ou beurre maître d’hôtel (grilled ribeye, blue cheese, lemon butter or green peppercorn sauces, 200gr of Australian beef – W35,000), the T-bone steak en marinade courte puis grillé, beurre d’herbes au citron (T-bone steak in short marinade and grilled, herbs lemon butter, 400gr of Korean beef – W38,000), the Côtelettes d’agneau grillées marinées, ail, zestes de citron et huile d’olive vierge (lamb shop marinated with extra virgin olive oil, roasted garlic, lemon zest, 3 pieces of New Zealand lamb – W40,000) or the escalope de saumon sur le grill, béarnaise et garniture du moment (grilled salmon steak with béarnaise sauce and daily garnishes, Fresh Norway salmon – W27,000). Beside the various kind of mussels, their signature dishes which are the quenelle de volaille à l’ancienne, bisque et gambas flambées (chicken quenelle old fashion style, crustacean sauce and flambed prawns, Korean chicken – W26,000) and the tarte de boeuf coupé au couteau et préparé par nos soins, frites du bistrot (bistro style steak tartare, chopped raw beef, served with French fries, 150gr of Australian beef – W35,000). Add a 10% VAT to the prices as they do not include it.

La Cigale placemat

La Cigale placemat


 
We chose mussels, salmon and 3 styles of  foie gras (I couldn’t resist), but there were plenty of other choices available as you could read.

Overview of the table

Overview of the table

Trio au foie gras

Trio au foie gras

The three foie gras (terrine, pan fried and crème brûlée) were actually very good.  The bread that accompanied them was a bit hard and tough to eat, but the foie gras itself was pretty good. My favourite, naturally, was the pan-fried :)  I’m a little less convinced by foir gras crème brûlée, which comes out tasting somewhat like a crèpe.  Overall though, it really was quite decent.  The mussels were also very good, with a sort of cream and bacon soup that tasted rather like a carbonnara sauce.  The meal was accompanied by a bottle of the house red wine.

Cost and conclusion:  It was 146,000 Korean won (about £72) for the trio of foie gras, salmon, two bowls of mussels and a bottle of red wine which fed four of us.  Perhaps still not that cheap for Seoul, but considering the foie gras, was overall a reasonable price.

Café du Village restaurant Bellevue Road Wandsworth Common London
Aug 28th, 2009 by Olivier

Café du Village
11 Bellevue Road, Wandsworth Common
London SW17 7EG

Café du Village

Café du Village (was The Brasserie)

Café du Village (was The Brasserie)

Inside, it is quite spacious.

Inside, it is quite spacious.

Interesting décor

Interesting décor

Café du Village (formerly The Brasserie) is a restaurant wonderfully located right in front of Wandsworth Common. It pretends to “offer great value cuisine with just a hint of French influence”. With the restaurants Chez Bruce next door and Bellevue Rendez-vous a minute walk away we certainly see more “French influence” in this area (not to mention the Café & patisserie l’Amandine there too). Actually the only true French restaurant is Bellevue Rendez-vous where the owners and staff are French. I think the staff at Café du Village were from Poland.

It is possible to eat outside but we prefered to go inside. It is spacious and smartly decorated although a little impersonal.

As starters we had the Moules Marinieres (Mussels with shallots in white wine with a dash of cream, served with a half baguette – £5.75) and a Garlic & mixed herb bread (£2.95).

As main courses we had a Poulet à l’Estragon (Pot-roasted chicken supreme with mushrooms, onion & bacon in a red wine & tarragon sauce – £10.95) and a Char-grilled Sirloin (21 day aged sirloin with French fries, new potatoes or mash – £16.95) with a Béarnaise sauce (£0.75). As drinks we had a small bottle of sparkling water (£2) and a large glass of an Argentinian 2007 Tarquino Malbec red wine (£7.75).

Other interesting main courses were the Salmon Fishcake (Oven baked fishcake with buttered spinach and a lemon & chive cream sauce – £9.50), the Calves Liver and Bacon (Pan-fried Dutch calves liver and bacon served with creamed potatoes and a red wine & port sauce – £12.95) or the Seafood Linguini (Pan-fried king prawns, squid, clams, mussels, garlic and chilli with an extra virgin olive oil & white wine sauce – £11.95).

Original presentation

Original presentation

The two starters

The two starters

The garlic bread to start was a little miserable. It was three slices of grilled baguette smothered in butter. There was very little garlic taste though, and overall it was just a little too greasy and overcooked.

Moules marinières

Moules marinières

The mussels were good but a little on the small side. Also, one or two were closed. It was a very rich meal with plenty calories because it was so creamy that the sauce was thick. I am into butter and cream so it was perfect for me but some people might find it overpowering.

The two main courses

The two main courses

Poulet à l’estragon

Poulet à l’estragon

Close-up

Close-up

The chicken with the taragon sauce was excellent! It was perfectly cooked with a crispy skin. The sauce with red wine and taragon was great. The bacon was good too, not too strong as can happen sometimes. I was quite pleased with this meal and the wine was very nice too.

Char-grilled Sirloin

Char-grilled Sirloin

The chargrilled sirloin was actually quite good – and better than its appearance in the photos might suggest. I had ordered this done ‘medium’ – which in the UK tends to mean overcooked. So it was on this occasion, which is just another reminder to me to ask for my meat rare when I want medium, or else I’ll get well done. Nonetheless, the meat was tender and with a nice flavour. The bearnaise sauce was also very good, and not greasy as can sometimes be the case. The mashed potato was excellent. Very nice and creamy, the right amount of butter, and beautifully textured. They were just the accompaniment, but they really made the dish.

Cost and conclusion: it was £53 including the “discretionary gratuity of 12.5%”. I am against this automatic gratuity added to the bill in many places in London, it should be left to the discretion of the client. That said, the service was friendly but very slow. It took a long time to get our starters. After, things went a bit better. The value for money is not bad, the food is decent and the location is fantastic. It is a good place for a pause after walking at the park, especially since they do snacks like croque monsieur, salads, breakfast, fish & chips etc. If you prefer to eat more authentic French dishes (boeuf bourguignon, confit de canard etc), Bellevue Rendez-vous is the place to go!

Café du Village Wandsworth on Urbanspoon

French restaurant Prix Fixe Brasserie 39 Dean Street Soho London W1D 4PU
Aug 7th, 2009 by Olivier

Prix Fixe Brasserie
39 Dean Street, Soho
London W1D 4PU

Prix Fixe

Prix Fixe Brasserie

Prix Fixe Brasserie

With a name like that, you expect to find only set menus at Prix Fixe Brasserie. While they do have well priced set menus, they also offer à la carte. They are located in Soho, near Chinatown, so really not far from the Covent Garden area. There are tables on the pavements but we wanted to be indoors a little isolated from the street. Inside, it is decorated in a rustic way (well used wood floor) and we can guess the French tricolour flag from the red wall in the background, the blue counter and the white ceiling. There are some French related posters on the wall so definitely a French touch, but the staff we met were English.

Inside Prix Fixe

Inside Prix Fixe

We had the 2 course set lunch at £8.90 with the soup of the day and stir fried shredded duck as starters, followed by a pork stew and a roast duck special (requiring a £6 supplement) as main courses. We had a bottle of sparkling water (£3.25) and a glass of red wine (sélection du sommelier £4.50). The wine was good, matching the duck nicely and the water was cold. They provided a complementary basket of freshly cut slices of baguettes with butter. The bread was excellent, which we took as a very good sign for the meal to follow.

The starters

The starters

Stir fried shredded duck

Stir fried shredded duck

The stir fried shredded duck with mushrooms and garlic was quite good. It was served on a bed of lettuce, making quite an attractive presentation. I did not really notice any garlic flavour, but the duck and mushrooms seemed to have been cooked in some sort of soy-based marinade, which resulted in rather a strong flavour. Whilst it was very tasty, it might have been a little better had it been served with some clear flavoured accompaniment to provide a bit of balance to the dish.

Russian cabbage soup

Russian cabbage soup

The soup of the day was a Russian cabbage soup. Normally I rarely choose soup but I was interested by that one since I lived in Russia as a child in the seventies and have good memories of the food there. When the soup arrived, I expected to see a red soup but it was mostly white/brown! I confused it with the Russian borscht with beef and crème fraiche which is mostly based on beetroot. I was a little upset but actually this soup was quite good too and it also had the sour cream.

The main courses

The main courses

Pork and chorizo stew

Pork and chorizo stew

The pork and chorizo stew, served with carrot and parsnip was not at all what I expected. I had anticipated – from its name – a stew comprised of bits of pork with a little chorizo and vegetables. What actually arrived on my plate was a pork loin fillet accompanied by a chorizo stew and topped with carrot and parsnip. That was generally a pleasant surprise, and the pork fillet was very nicely cooked – not at all dry, as can often happen with pork. Likewise, the parsnip and carrot were perfectly cooked. I wasn’t too fond of the chorizo stew though, which was just too much chorizo and – as one might expect – quite greasy. It was easy enough to eat the pork with only a little of the chorizo though, so really nothing much to complain about.

The duck

The duck

The duck (a magret de canard) with honey was served with a gratin dauphinois and some pak choi which is a variant of bok choy. I asked for it to be cooked medium and it was perfectly cooked as it was still red and tender. In the UK meals have a tendancy to be so overcooked that it was a very nice surprice. It tasted very good too. Definitely worth the £6 supplement to the menu.

Cost and conclusion: it was £35.49 including the 12.5% service charge. As usual we wish it would not be automatically included and left to the client’s discretion. That said, they did deserve their tip. The service was excellent, with a friendly and attentive staff. The value for money on the set menus is outstanding, especially for central London. Prix Fixe Brasserie opened only 11 months ago, we wish for more restaurants like them in London! We will be back of course.

Prix Fixe Brasserie on Urbanspoon

Le P’tit Normand French restaurant Southfields Wandsworth London
Jul 31st, 2009 by Olivier

French restaurant Le P’tit Normand
185 Merton Road, Southfields
London SW18 5EF

Le P’tit Normand

Delicious rillettes

Delicious rillettes

Le P’tit Normand is a French restaurant located in Southfields. It is an expected location for such a traditional French restaurant as it is next to a take away and in front of a pub and a bus stop. Inside, you enter in another world, cut from the outside. This was our second visit following a good experience the first time.

We ordered one 3 course set menu at £19.50 including a crême brûlée au foie gras et poire (pear), a poussin and a cheeseboard. A la carte we had a Artichaut farci au Crabe et Gratinée à la Chapelure, sauce au Noilly Prat (bread crumb glazed artichoke heart, stuffed with white crab meat, dry vermouth sauce – £6.50) followed by a Confit de Canard au Jus de Porto et Figues, Pommes Sarladaises (Cured duck leg, port and fig sauce, Salardaise potatoes – £14.65) and a Tarte au citron et agrumes ( lemon tart with mandarin slices on top – £5.50). As drink we had a carafe 1/2 litre of house red wine (£8.10) and a bottle of Badoit (£3).

Carafe of red wine & sparkling water Badoit

Carafe of red wine & sparkling water Badoit

The starters

The starters

Artichaut farci au Crabe

Artichaut farci au Crabe

Crème brûlée au foie gras et poires

Crème brûlée au foie gras et poires

The crème brûlée au foie gras and pears was delicious. Of course you must be into foie gras for choosing that kind of meal! It was very smooth and the taste of foie gras was not overhelming, thanks to the pear that provided a good balance. The artichaut farci au crabe et gratinée à la chapelure, sauce au Noilly Prat was also quite tasty, but became just a bit overpowering for my taste as I worked my way through that dish.  It could have used some sort of accompaniment to provide a contrast to the flavour.

The two main courses

The two main courses

Confit de canard

Confit de canard

Poussin with endives & garlic

Poussin with endives & garlic

Close-up

Close-up

The main courses were good too. The confit de canard was very nicely done, with a rich and slightly sweet sauce. We weren’t quite so thrilled by the Pommes Sarladaises though (which accompanied both mains), which might have been improved had they been crispy. The poussin was perfectly cooked with a crispy skin. The bitterness of the endive was going well with the slightly sweet sauce.

The cheese board

The cheese board

Cheese & bread

Cheese & bread

Lemon tart with slices of mandarin

Lemon tart with slices of mandarin

The cheese board was good, with a large choice of unpasteurised cheese. I think only two were pasteurised. The bread accompaning the cheeses was excellent and with the red wine it was a wonderful way to end the dinner. The lemon tart had a nicely piquant flavour, not too sweet, and nicely set off with the mandarin.

Cost and conclusion: it was £64.45 including the discretionary 12.5% service charge that goes to the restaurant staff. While the service were efficient and friendly, I am opposed to the service charge automatically added to the bill. It should left fully at the discretion of the client. The result in this case is the same, but it is for the principle I am writing this 😉 Great food, great service at a reasonable price and all in a pleasant surrounding. What to ask more?

You can read the previous review with more details and photos about le P’tit Normand at http://www.trusted-gourmet.com/2009/07/french-restaurant-le-ptit-normand-185-merton-road-southfields-wandsworth-london-sw18-5ef/

Le P'tit Normand on Urbanspoon


»  Substance: WordPress   »  Style: Ahren Ahimsa
© 2010 Trusted-Gourmet.com