Tag Archives: bistrot

Chez L’Amis Jean

Oh that cote de boeuf !

Wow, that previous post was a ramble – which needs to be quickly replaced with FOOD.

The photo of the food in this incredibly busy and cramped restaurant came out pretty horribly – the light was so dim and the place literally had barely any elbow room at all. But that’s not at all a reflection of the foodfoodfood of this wonderful bistrot.

Chez L’Amis Jean is in Paris, and it’s very firmly in the anti-Michelin realm of Parisien eats. Rather than three waiters per table, it’s three waiters for the entire restaurant, and I kid you not, when I say it’s cramped, believe me. Essentially the restaurant is one long banquette, with lots of little tables that are joined to make one long table. Each party is sat opposite each other, and as you are seated, the table is pulled out so that one of you can sit before being wedged in. Don’t drink too much water if you’re sitting inside 🙂

The good thing about this cozy atmosphere is that you almost feel like you are at a wedding. You get to know the people sitting on either side of you, and everyone’s friendly and just happy to be inside (and on the night we were there, out of the lashing rain outside) with the warm hospitality of the staff.

And despite it being insanely full, the waitstaff were all blazingly efficient and always, always (and I truly adore this part) able to pause and wish you “bon appetite” with a smile – they truly want you to enjoy your food here. From the start, as you are waiting for your table, they serve up sharing boards of charcuterie. While you sneak looks at other tables to see what looks good (don’t tell me I’m the only one who does this), a large shared terrine with a big knife is presented to you to “have some”. It’s little touches of warmth and generosity like this that for me makes this such a memorable restaurant.

Ruiz au lait with praline and salted caramel

Not only is the food phenomenal – classic French bistro at its best, but the portions are enormous.

Knowing the portions were big, didn’t deter us from ordering what we wanted though – luckily we were happy to wander around the close-by Eiffel Tower after to walk some of our dinner off. Tres romantic !

We started our gargantuan meal with soup de Parmsan. A large bowl with crispy bacon bits and delicately sliced chives is filled in front of you with a creamy, rich, cheesy soup from a large(r) tea pot. Ridiculously delicious, and followed with the cote de boeuf – thick juicy slices of rib-eye, cooked on the bone, with generous shavings of black truffles. mmmmm…And because we truly have eyes bigger than our stomach, we ordered dessert ! Which was rice pudding served with praline and salted caramel. Rich, creamy and decadent, it was a perfectly balanced dish to balance out our dinner. Again, LARGE, again, superb.

They almost had to roll us out of there ! If you do want to go (and if you are in Paris, I really think you should), two things I would strongly recommend. First, make a booking, or don’t even bother to turn up. Secondly, go hungry.

Chez L’Amis Jean
27 Rue Malar, 75007 Paris, France

Phone:+33 1 47 05 86 89

More Bistrot du Sommelier

Beef tenderloin with mushrooms in cream sauce and mashed potato

After our wonderful introduction to Le Bistrot du Sommelier, we headed back there again last weekend with some friends, keen to try other dishes.  We recognised chef Patrick Heuberger from Au Petit Salut which inspired even more faith in this gem of a place. He explained that he left Au Petit Salut to open something smaller and more intimate, and he really has nailed it with this charming bistrot.

I ordered the tenderloin in a cream and mushroom sauce.  The steak was tender and tasty and the mash it was served with could not have been silkier.  I would have ordered the Cote du Boef but Patrick explained that the one supplier he uses for this particular dish was sadly affected by the recent crazy weather in Queensland.

Welsh lamb fillet for two with potato gratin

The Welsh lamb (for 2) looked so good it made me wish I ate lamb (don’t ask, I just don’t like the smell of it, but can totally understand anyone who says pork, which I can’t live without, has a similar smell).  It came served with whole roasted garlic cloves and a generous layer of herbed butter on top, and was cooked to medium-rare perfection.

We also ordered the duck confit and the onglet steak at our table which were both also delicious (and we had frites envy from the crispy shoe-string fries that came with the onglet steak) but I think the tenderloin and lamb were the winners of the evening.

Must-have profiteroles

Actually, I tell a lie, the profiteroles we ordered to share between three of us who could squeeze in any more food was the winner.  Crisp, light choux pastry sandwiching large scoops of rich vanilla ice-cream, covered in molten dark chocolate and slivered almonds.  A sweet-tooth’s dream.  And a chocoholics dream.  Just a dream.

If you like rustic French food, this is the place you want to go to.  Just remember to book.

Le Bistrot du Sommelier
46 Prinsep Street, #01-01 Prinsep Place

Tel: +65 6333 1982

Open Mon-Sat: 6pm – 11pm



Le Bistrot du Sommelier

Roast chicken with 40 garlic cloves served with potato gratin

What a great start to the lunar new year we’ve had.  First we found great tapas, and then last night we managed to secure a reservation at a charming French bistro that has been fully booked the last four times we’ve wanted to visit.

Le Bistrot du Sommelier is at Prinsep Place, nestled in the middle of a row of shophouses that have been converted to bars and other restaurants.

It’s a busy, bustling restaurant, and based on last night, where all tables were full, I’d definitely recommend making a reservation to avoid disappointment.

And there’s a reason why it’s so busy – it’s great rustic French food at its best.

Foie gras terrine with fig jam and brioche

D and I could not go past the duck foie gras terrine for starters, which I’d actually recommend sharing between two (unlike last night where greed too over and we ended up too full from ordering one each) – it’s a very generous slice of rich, intensely flavoured foie gras terrine served with a fig jam and brioche.  This paired so perfectly with the Sancere we ordered.

There is a beef menu where they serve 4-5 specials but for some reason D and I departed from our usual French-fare of duck and beef, and ordered the roast chicken stew with 40 garlic cloves and pan-roasted snapper fillet.

The roast chicken arrived in a claypot, stewed with white wine, onions, herbs de provence, and 40 garlic cloves, that had stewed into a sweet, mellow sauce that was crying out to have a crusty baguette dunked in it.  But as with most bistrots, you are rarely short of carbohydrates, and this dish was served with a potato gratin (which was cooked with cream and nutmeg that you could smell and taste – yum).  Exceedingly rich, this would have been tough for me to finish after the foie gras terrine I’d just eaten.

Snapper fillet over crushed potatoes with tomato salsa

Luckily I (for once!) let my head rule over my heart with my order of snapper fillet, which arrived with a simple “salsa” of chopped tomatoes, onions and basil, all over crushed potatoes that had been drizzled with olive oil.  A sprinkle of fresh tarragon leaves over the fish gave each mouthful a refreshing aniseed flavour which I surprisingly loved given that I don’t usually like strong anise flavours.

We were so full that we couldn’t even think about dessert although the profiteroles have our name on it for next time 🙂

There is indoor and outdoor seating, and tables are very close together, which means you tend to overhear conversations from neighbouring tables (perhaps not the sort of place for an intimate dinner for two) and we heard that they now do not allow BYO.  Which is a shame because that’s just so, “bistrot”, although their wine list is pretty extensive and reasonably priced.

We had to walk home because we couldn’t fathom sitting down in a taxi with such full bellies, but a lot of our conversation home was about what a great find this bistrot was and what we would order next time.  And the next.  And the next.

Le Bistrot du Sommelier
46 Prinsep Street, #01-01 Prinsep Place

Tel: +65 6333 1982

Open Mon-Sat: 6pm – 11pm