A lover of Paris and all things French (especially zee accent, ohhhh zat accent), I was excited to check out this new haunt.
There’s even a doorman to welcome you in. And they say romance is dead… well clearly not in the city of love.
The restaurant is very ‘nouveau French’ in décor with a B&W tiled floor, red walls, classic wooden chairs and chalkboard ashenus.
But, of course, it wouldn’t be a French establishment without a proper crisp white tablecloth.
Whilst I waited for my dining companions to arrive our swift & friendly server for the evening brought over a carafe of water and a bread basket to keep me entertained.
And just to keep everyone happy, provided both butter and olive oil. How very accommodating.
But I’d barely finish eyeing it up when Honey & Lauren arrived.
Honey’s clearly one of those girls that everyone wants to know, as her arrival prompted the delivery of three deliciously fruity champagne cocktails.
Just what the doctor ordered for the mid-week slump.
We grabbed a bottle of ‘Les Vignes de l’Eglise, Languedoc, Merlot/Grenache, 2014’ (£19.50) and set about studying the menu.
On to starters, Honey ordered the salad of crab, avocado and curly endive (£12.50).
It was a generous portion with distinctly fresh crab, although it did have a mayo-esque consistency about it which I thought was a shame, and was in need of a good crack of black pepper.
Lauren chose the chicken liver parfait, onion jam and brioche (£7.00).
This dish was the sore loser of the starters, with the parfait too runny, the onion jam a little limp in both flavour & texture, and the brioche a non-event. They could definitely take a leaf out of Galvin la Chapelle’s book for this one!
I had the scallops St. Jacques, salsa verde, tomato and olive fondue (£10.00).
The scallops were well-cooked, but the tomato component was far too sweet and overpowered the salsa verde and any notes of olive.
Mains were all-round better.
Honey ordered the Barbary duck breast with honey and rosemary glaze, heritage baby carrots and Swiss chard (£19.00), which was phenomenal.
The duck was beautifully cooked and tender, the sauce a delicious sweet glaze, and the veg just done.
Lauren sadly lost out on the food choices once more, having ordered my starter of scallops St. Jacques, salsa verde, tomato and olive fondue (£19.00) for mains.
Having said that, she did well to order a side of the pommes frites (£3.00), which were a fry that the French would be proud to claim theirs.
I ordered steak tartare, served with pommes frites (£22.00).
Which provided a cracking #yolkporn performance.
And after a good mash-up, plus a heavy dosage of Tabasco, was completely on point, matching the standards of the steak tartare that Michael & I enjoyed at renowned La Societe in Paris, and far superior to that of Brick Lane French rival Chez Elles.
We shared some sides too.
The tomato and red onion salad (£4.50) was epic. You certainly get your money’s worth (hint hint MASH) with a large plate of fresh, flavoursome tomatoes in a beautiful array of colours, seasoned well and finished with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic glaze.
I had the vegetable of the day (£3.50) with my tartare, which was roasted beetroot with caramelised walnuts and goat’s cheese, which was divine.
We ended our meal with a couple’a desserts.
The apple tart with crème normande (£5.50) was unfortunately rather dry, with the super thin layers of apple zapped of all their moisture.
But the chocolate fondant with walnut praline and pistachio ice-cream (£8.50) more than made up for it.
Lauren did the honours whilst Honey & I watched with baited breath.
And were not at all disappointed!
Although I found the fondant casing rather light and cake-like, I suppose this makes for a more generally pleasing dessert, but I do personally prefer them to be as dense and rich as they come.
Still, the river of dark chocolate and seriously stunning pistachio ice-cream swiped any niggles from my mind.
We had a super night at Jean Jacques, having received attentive, friendly service, good grub, and enjoyed even better company.
I dined as a guest of Jean Jacques, but all opinions are my own.