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Image 1: Like the crab course, the Langoustine consisted of three preparations. First was a simple ravioli...
Disappointingly, they had only two types of bread - baguette and wheat.
Image 3: While sipping away our champagne, this arrived – an airy green pea velouté with a mild garlic foam. This foam had a very distinctive texture, half way between cream and foam!
Butter - with the place’s name, of course.
This unique plate design has a silver centre. The restaurant’s name was everywhere.
Image 6: When it came to the menu, the maitre'd told us that, while the tasting menu is a great choice, à-la-carte would be even better, as it’s just as elaborate as the tasting menu - but you get to pick what you want. Sounded good advice to us – so we took it!
Image 7: This prestigious restaurant is in the Bois de Boulougne, on the Western edge of Paris. If you take a stroll round the park before your meal, you’ll certainly arrive with an appetite, because it’s more than twice the size of NYC’s Central Park!
Image 8: The attached dining hall, used for private functions, is also headed by Chef Anton.
The high ceilings in the dining room improved the lighting, but all that hard, white marble meant that it still had a very unwelcoming feel. It reminded me of a funeral home!
You couldn’t call the reception area bright and welcoming! Rather dark and mysterious, in fact.
Nor did I like this lounge area much. Cold and miserable, to my mind.
Image 13: True, the lamb course was decent, but no more, and none of the courses would make me want to come back again. Was it the blandest and most unexciting meal we had in Paris? Probably, though L'Arpege is also in the frame for this particular honour. Michelin 3-star? Really? If you didn’t know, you’d never guess!
Image 14: They also came with various mini-tarts.
Concluding thoughts…the best thing about this visit was the service, which was professional and smooth. Flawless, even. But the food is a different story – a big let-down.
Image 15: By now, we were so disappointed in the meal that we were glad when the petits fours arrived, so we could ask for the bill and leave.
After a decent selection of cheese…
Image 17: …that’s where our enjoyment ended. It turned out to be just a mixture of ice cream and soft meringue with sparkling candy. No different from eating sugar. We left them mostly untouched!
Image 18: ... was diced-pear, pear cream and some crispy balls. Both desserts were good to look at, but not so great to eat. Shame!
Image 19: It was fun cracking open this apple-flavoured sugar sphere, but…
Image 20: Melting milk chocolate had been poured over it, and inside...
Another dessert was Pear, which also arrived in spherical form.
Image 22: …by far the best dish of the evening! Powerful flavours, from both the jelly and the cream, blended beautifully with a hint of sea saltiness from the caviar, and – at the bottom - a delicate piece of lobster meat. Excellent!
Image 23: … it was time for dessert - Apple.
Image 24: Finally, the concentrated broth of the lobster shell was used to make a jelly. This was served in a martini glass and layered with caviar, lobster meat, and lobster cream. It was…
And the rest were deep fried - just like the tempura of langoustine. Boring!
The dish also came with a generous quenelle of caviar.
Image 28: Anyway. Onto the main courses. First up was Lobster, also in three different preparations.
The whole tail was sautéed and laid on a bed of chopped beans.
Image 29: Lamb
We liked the idea of multiple preparations for each course. It meant we could try various parts of the lamb cooked differently. The sweetbread was incredible - elastic with a creamy centre!
Image 30: The plate also had kidney, fillet, loin, and a piece of cutlet. The sauce was a nice combination of lamb jus, vinaigrette and garlic with a touch of pepper. Not bad at all!
Image 31: I like this table design – the metal casing keeps the table cloth neatly in place.
Image 32: Fortunately, they found us a table with a view of the garden.
Image 33: It was a big mistake to serve all the Langoustine dishes at once, because, by the time I got to the grilled preparation, it was completely cold. And, once again, it had very oriental flavours and an extremely salty teriyaki sauce dusted with sesame. I haven't had such a bad 3-star course for a while!
Image 34: Finally, a Robuchon-style caviar course as the last crab preparation. Beneath a thin layer of caviar, it was the same as the previous dish. At least, this time, the caviar provided some saltiness, so it wasn’t quite as boring!
Image 35: ...packed with crab meat and topped with caviar jelly. A real treat for the eyes, but – sadly – not for the tastebuds. Just far too bland.
Image 36: Plus, a tasteless tarragon sauce for the vegetables! Even weirder! OK, so I appreciate that lots of work has gone into preparing the food - but I’m not impressed so far!
Image 37: And now, an amazing porcelain crab shell...
Image 38: ...with a cream-filled spoon on the side. The idea is to melt the cream yourself by stirring it into the soup.
Image 39: ...with langoustine stuffing.
Image 40: CRAB
Our table quickly became packed with food, as each course came in several preparations. A warm and flavourful soup to start...
Image 41: ...a Vietnamese fish sauce with chilli and nuts! What's going on? Weird!
Image 42: Although I expected proper French food at a place like this, I don't actually mind if the chef occasionally incorporates other cuisine at times. But, but but…tempura of langoustine and vegetable, which is obviously Japanese, served with…