In the past few months I had discovered a French restaurant that seemed appealing so I decided to make a visit to Chez Pierre. They’ve been running a special Winter Delight’s menu, where over 4 weeks, they feature 5 courses (for $58.50) of dishes from certain regions of France. I managed to get a booking in the fourth week which was centred on Paris:
- Amuse Bouche
- Cassolette d’escargots et champigons
- Agneau a la Provencale
- Vanilla Creme Brulee
I was amused when I drove in that there is a parking attendant to direct you to a space and then open your doors. Talk about service! Stepping into the restaurant, you proceed down a corridor created by the private room on the right and a black beaded curtain on the left. I wasn’t able to obtain a booking for the Tuesday as it was booked out despite ringing about a week in advance so I made a booking for Thursday. I had arrived early and was taken to my table. There were a few tables occupied but as the night progressed, the whole restaurant was packed out. Obviously extremely popular.
After being seated we were shown menus and offered drinks. Apart from the Winter Delight’s menu which is excellent value, there’s the al a carte, degustation, and set menus to choose from. After placing orders, the kitchen didn’t waste time in delivering the first course of the night, an Amuse Bouche of Roasted Tomato Veloute.
Roasted Tomato Veloute
A small serving that packed a punch. Served in mini tea cups with saucers and small spoons, the first spoonful produced an intense flavour. Initially a strong roasted tomato skin flavour, then taken over by a concentrated flavour that bears resemblance to tomato but like nothing you’ve tasted before. Then a sweet acidity takes over rounding out the rich flavour of the veloute. We were also served a basket of bread with butter which was throughly enjoyed, and particularly, with this dish. A very unique dish which I really enjoyed.
The service was pleasant but a little heavy handed and maybe a bit too efficient. Really, one should clear the plates once all members of the table have finished their meals. Just a minor point but the service was efficient throughout the night. Within a short space of time, our next course was presented.
Cassolette d’escargots et champigons
French snails & Parisian mushrooms, served in a light garlic sauce finished with fresh herbs
I’ve eaten escargot a couple of times, the most recent in Paris. This version was very different but extremely delicious. A word of warning: if the waitstaff don’t mention this, the dishes are extremely hot, straight out of the oven so don’t touch them. The escargot and mushrooms were cooked perfectly, soft, tender, succulent. Escargot, though, has a slightly chewy texture compared to the mushrooms. They were immersed in a delicious rich sauce, with the herbs and a hint of grated cheese on the top coming through. The serving turned out to be rather deceptive and was quite filling, especially considering the richness of the dish. Once again, enjoyed with bread and butter.
As a palette cleanser before the mains were served, a lemon sorbet was presented. It was a little hard, as if it had been sititng in the freezer for some time and like a frozen ball. Usually, the sorbet is like a soft gooey fine ice mixture. Once you got the spoon through and it started to melt, the lovely lemon flavour surrounded the palette. A touch overly on the sweet side, this did the job of cleansing the palette and preparing us for the mains, which was served after a reasonable break.
Agneau a la Provencale
Marinated Amelia Park Rump of Lamb, roasted & served pink, served with rustic ratatouille,
glazed carrots, olive tapenade & lamb jus
There was a decent serving of pinkish, perfectly cooked, tender slices of lamb. It lacked seasoning and was bland, however, if had with the ratatouille, the meal was transformed. The ratatouille was delicious. Lovely soft vegetables, moist, in a lovely sweetish tomato sauce, the flavours partnered perfectly with the lamb and jus and made this dish very enjoyable. I was comfortably full and looking forward to dessert, one of my favourites, creme brulee.
The creme brulee was served in a wide but shallow dish with a lovely brown glazing of the caramelised sugar. The spoon cracked into the thin layer easily and revealed a rich, creamy, vanilla flavoured custard which I throughly savoured and enjoyed each spoonful. Absolutely fantastic, the dish does start to become very rich after a while but I still managed to finish it.
Chez Pierre Food Review Summary
Verdict: It’s been a long time since my visit to Paris and I haven’t eaten food that comes close. While tonight’s meal didn’t blow me away, I was satisfied with the consistency of the flavours in each dish. The roasted tomato veloute is something I haven’t eaten before and I really liked the creativity of this pocket dynamo. It packed a punch, full of intense flavour and sweet acidity. The tender succulent escargot and mushrooms in a rich delicious sauce made the dish superb. The perfectly cooked lamb may have seemed initially underwhelming but when paired with the sweet tomato flavour of the ratatouille, the dish was transformed. To finish, the creme brulee had the perfect amount of caramelisation and the spoon cracked through the thin, not thick, top, revealing a rich, vanilla flavoured custard that was fantastic. Considering the lovely setting, the efficient service, the delicious and well executed quality of the dishes served, for $58.50, the experience is a steal. I can see why this restaurant packed out so quickly. And this is a fine dining restaurant.
Recommendation: Highly Recommend
Chez Pierre Restaurant Details
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