Paris 2014 – Le Chateaubriand

Le Chateaubriand is one of those no frills restaurants where you only expect good food but not much of ambiance or service. The service was not rude or non existent kind of bad, but you just won’t get all the customer rights. Reservation only opens 14 days prior to day of visit and this can only be done by phone at certain time of the day. You certainly cannot expect any VIP treatment with the reservation and must be prepared to camp by the phone to book. The other way around it was to go for the walk in 2nd seating which starts after 9:30pm. The 2nd seating is non-guaranteed and you must go early to be in line. It was in convenient for me to make reservations because I was on a plane during the reservation hours, so I tried my luck with the 2nd seating. I arrived at 8:50pm and was in line for about an hour before a table was available for me. The menu is fixed at €65 and consists of 5 starters, 3 mains and 2 desserts. This 10 course meal is not a quick one and turnover rate at the restaurant was slow. I think there were people in the queue who were turned down eventually.

So was all the trouble worth it? Yes.

First: Poppy seed cheese gougère

This seems to be a resident item here because every blog post about this restaurant has this. It was puffy, cheesy and good to ease my hunger after waiting in line for so long.

Second: Ceviche

This was meant to be consumed in one mouth. There’s fish ceviche inside the liquid. It’s not my first time trying ceviche, but it certainly is the first time having such a small portion of it. The minuscule portion makes you want more and it stays fresh and good in memory. I did not catch what sort of fish was used here but based on the trend of late it could likely be sea bream.

Third: Boiled shrimp

This was simply just boiled fresh shrimps, chilled and to eaten with aioli dipping sauce. Simply, unpretentious and as good as fresh shrimps get.

Fourth: Risotto

Seaweed was involved in this one. While it was good, I can’t really remember anything special in particular. Every dish so far was good.

The bread only arrived when it was ready. I suppose they make this in batches to ensure freshness. We requested for some butter and this butter is one of those one look I know it’s good sort. It was creamy and fresh. I could it it own it’s own.

Fifth: Chilled pea soup

Not my favourite among the 5 starters but refreshing and light on the palate.

Sixth: Crab

This was like a stir fried crab dish and tasted somewhat Asian, probably not commonly found in European cities like Paris. I thought it was quite good and I really liked this one, though if you compare it to our local zi char dishes it may seem like a poor knock off (however, I do not have zi char often so to me this was special enough).

Seventh: Fish

Another green dish. With 3 green dishes among the 8 savoury courses it’s quite apparent that vegetables are in season (or perhaps going green, like green juices, is the trend right now?). Peas are not my favourite but I loved the deep fried pepper and the deep fried vegetable chip there (sorry I do not know which vegetable that is). The fish was decent but for me, the green pepper stole the limelight. It reminded me of the green pepper tapas I had in Barcelona.

Eighth: Duck & Chicken

2 types of poultry here. While I like duck more in general, the chicken here was more outstanding than the duck. The chicken was juicier and more tender while the duck was forgettable. It’s rare for me to praise chicken because most chicken dishes are usually not outstanding but it’s a different case here. The petals are edible.

Ninth: Cherries and Capers

I was not too thrilled to see cherries because well, I never liked cherries. I am not a fruit person and especially not a sour/ tangy fruit person. The sorbet was terrible sour on it’s own. I thought I’ll leave this untouched. However, I later realised this was not like the fruit + ice cream normal kind of thing they use to patronise you for dessert course. It was a well thought of, carefully orchestrated dessert. When eaten in combination it was totally different! The capers gave everything a spicy kick and the cherries and sorbet soothed the spiciness. It was fun like that and soon I polished everything. Never be too quick to judge, especially not at this restaurant.

Tenth: Tocino del cielo

When we we asked to choose between the cheese course or dessert courses, the waiter told us the dessert would be cherries & capers and something else which was meant to be a surprised. As first time customers to Le Chateaubriand and one that did not do research beforehand, it was indeed a surprise. I think item has been a resident on their menu for years.

This was a traditional Spanish dessert made of egg yolk. It was said to be created by nuns in the past because they had excess of egg yolks but was later named “Pig of the sky” because it was being banned due to it being fattening and unhealthy. (Hence pig, and of the sky because it was unattainable.) I’m not sure how many calories this has or how many arteries it’ll block, but it was really good and one portion wouldn’t hurt would it? The egg yolk explodes and was gooey while the meringue base was crunchy. The combination was perfect and it should be eaten in one mouth. I love all these one mouth wonders.

Le Chateaubriand
129 Rue Parmentier, 75011 Paris, France

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