A quaint little cafe has come to town.
It’s very French, complete with chalkboard menus, divine desserts, and a very charming half French-half Punjabi restauranter called Naina.
Four of us from the CAL Blogger’s Table, stopped by for dinner one drizzly Saturday night. I wasn’t feeling well, but Sid convinced me to go anyway and I’m glad I did.
We started with a Midinette salad – tender pieces of grilled chicken, topped with julienne of green apple and celery, studded with bright pomegranate seeds, and tossed in a very light parsley mayonnaise.
Pan fried calamaris came next – a warm dish of delicious squid rings with garlic, baby potatoes, cherry tomatoes, black olives, and a red chilly coulis.
If you like liver, definitely try the Chicken liver parfait served with crispy pieces of baguette, a balsamic reduction, and confit onions. The pate is very delicate, and the sticky balsamic sauce is quite lovely with it.
The main courses are probably Le Bistro du Parc’s weakest link.
There was the average Grilled lamb with vegetables. It came with a mint-mango chutney and potatoes, but none of the flavours were memorable.
We also tried the Chicken and zucchini with olive tapenade – the tapenade was rich and slightly tart, but the zucchini was overcooked and mushy. Plus there was a little too much green on my plate
The Pan-fried red snapper with ratatouille vegetables and in a bed of lemon foam was probably the most frou-frou dish on the menu. The vegetables were slightly sweet which I loved, and the fish had a gorgeous crispy skin, but the fish itself was a little under seasoned.
The big gun on the menu was the Rib of beef for two. After being asked how you would like your meat (we said medium-rare) it’s brought to the table like this.
Then it’s taken back to the kitchen, cut into pieces, and brought back like this.
The meat itself was too rare for our liking (we were told that “French” medium-rare was our “rare”) but it was taken back and cooked a while longer so it didn’t feel like we were cavemen gnawing at raw meat.
The hand-cut fries that came with it were excellent, as was the divine morel sauce, with little pieces of the mushroom floating in the golden sauce like succulent black jewels.
And now for the main event – the desserts.
Between the four of us, we choose 5 desserts to share.
The Lemon tart with meringue, Raspberry Charlotte, and Plum and almond tart were excellent. Each one made with care, pronounced, unapologetic flavours, and excellent presentation.
But let me tell you about the two desserts that will most certainly make me return to Le Bistro du Parc.
This most beautiful chocolate mousse – made with Valrhona dark chocolate, and served with pomegranate seeds and a strawberry coulis. When you put that first decadent spoonful in your mouth, you understand why people often liken chocolate to sex.
The other stunning dessert I can’t stop thinking about was the Pistachio Paris Brest – a choux pastry bun filled with a luscious lime-green pistachio cream. The dessert gets its name from Paris–Brest–Paris – a 1200km bicycle race from Paris to Brest and back to Paris and is therefore shaped to match the circular circuit.
Even Nachiketa, our reigning dessert queen was suitably impressed.
Le Bistro du Parc is a lovely place to perhaps go on your first date. It’s relaxed, the food is reasonably good, and the desserts will most certainly make that magical first kiss happen.
Here’s what the others there had to say: