Chic yet cozy? Modern yet rustic? Does a place like this exist in Mumbai?There are a few of those, in the city and one of them goes by the name of Le Pain Quotidien which means ‘the daily bread’. No, don’t worry if you’re still trying to pronounce it correctly, it took us years to master that one! They have opened up around three outlets and if you are planning to eat here, we feel, it is going to be a relaxing, comfortable, warm and fuzzy affair! The Bombay Foodies bus headed to their BKC outlet after running around the city, and here is a story of our CHILL dining and drinking experience.
The Concept, Place and the Meal:
We were at LPQ as our third restaurant from the #FollowtheFoodie campaign by Gourmetitup.com where they introduced us to the new summer menu before it was ready for the rest of the city (we felt pretty cool about it, yes :D). We got a little late due to loads of traffic, miscommunication and a rainy day but Mr. Neil gracefully waited for us, and made sure we were as comfortable as we could get.
So a little about all the problems we faced that night. LPQ is situated right next to California Pizza Kitchen, and the office campus DOES NOT ALLOW taxis or rickshaws to enter. Our luck that day just seemed to go from bad to worse when it started to rain in the middle of FEBRUARY!!!! It was so freaking cold, I could hear the Foodie’s teeth chattering, while walking to LPQ. And man was it a long walk for a cold rainy evening!! But things got better once we entered the cafe which seemed like a nice warm pub in the Belgian countryside. Warm, fuzzy and cozy all we needed was small pillow and we could have passed the f*ck out, right there!
If you look around, you’ll see a long communal table placed in a manner, that it won’t go unnoticed. It has a little story. The original communal table was the first communal table on Rue Dansaert in Brussels which was built from wood salvaged from the floors of retired Belgian trains. Those simple planks became a tradition. Today, this same rough, reclaimed wood continues to bring a rustic comfort to LPQs around the world, and the communal tables are their centre-piece. All the LPQs have these tables where people from all races, castes and sex can sit, dine and break bread together. Interesting, no? Very woody ambience, the restaurant is beautifully lit and is the perfect place for a date, family gathering or even a meal alone.The communal table will ensure you have company, promise.
Moving on, the new summer menu is a 4 course set menu with a soup of the day, salad or appetizer, mains and dessert. The cuisine is simple European and the concentration is again on bold flavors using simple ingredients. We met the second in charge chef Mahesh, who gave us a small brief about the menu, and then we got started. The soup was a simple Tomato Basil, a little on the tangy side with less seasoning. They served a rustic peasants bread, which is nothing but an unleavened bread and tends to be chewy and doughy, the Chef found it perfect with the soup but the Foodie wasn’t a big fan. For salad, the Foodie had a forest mushroom and shitake Cobb salad and the Chef called for a Chicken Club Tartine which is a French open-faced sandwich.
Now, when the Tartine made its way to the table, the Chef got out his knife and fork and started to dig in, but found it really difficult. It was becoming a mess, just then, the Foodie pointed out they have a board, that teaches you how to eat it. Its like a “How to eat Tartine for Dummies” just pick it up with your hands and grab a bite, that’s it! The layers of this Tartine included, a tough bread, tomato Harissa, grilled Chicken, boiled egg sliced, bacon and aragula. It was delicious! On offering the Foodie a bite she took two big ones, and that is saying a lot, considering she is so picky about her flavors.
The salad had a nice and sweet dressing of green tea with a really strong mix of blue cheese; all the contrasting flavors made this vegetarian salad taste great!! This meal was accompanied with a glass of Sangria each, so we took the red and white wine sangria, each. Very well made and had a fruity fragrant. You also get a whooping 25% discount on all IMFL orders, incase any 🙂
The main course is what this place and the new menu is all about. Like we said earlier, simple yet bold and the food tasted fantastic. The Chef called for a seared Pan-Seared Basil Chicken with mushroom risotto with spinach and herbed sauce, while the Foodie called for a Basa fish, with bulghur (cracked wheat) risotto and a chili balsamic sauce with pesto drizzle. We couldn’t wait for the dishes to come to our table and when they did, we were in for a visual treat!! The dishes looked fantastic and a great detail has been given to the food and the combination of ingredients.
Getting to individual dishes, the grilled chicken was one of the softest and juiciest pieces of chicken breast the Chef has ever eaten. Paired with the mushroom risotto and a rich creamy sauce. There is also a layer of spinach to offer that break from the richness of the sauce. This dish gets a full 5 on 5 from the Chef!!! A complete dish in itself, the Basa was not left far behind. Firm yet easily cut with a fork, the Bulghur risotto was a different twist given by the chefs at LPQ and the balsamic and chili sauce, though less in quantity was going perfectly well with the fish. There were also stalks of asparagus, offering that extra crunch to the dish. The quantity was perfect and we had just enough space to have desserts.
Desserts and Final Thought:
In desserts we opted for the Apple crumble and a Belgian chocolate brownie served with ice cream and a really tasty chocolate and almond biscotti. Both served warm, both with a soft center and what loved about each dessert was that they weren’t too sweet when it came to taste. That, after walking around on such a cold, rainy evening, was a pure delite.The ice cream gave a good contrast to the ‘hot and cold’ feel of the dessert but the biscotti, though really thin, was a f*cking winner!! It was wayyyy past closing when we finished our lovely meal, we must thank the staff and Mr Neil who waited for us till the very end to give us a little tour of the restaurant. This is a perfect place to visit during the winters, but you guys must go and check out the summer menu through Gourmet It Up as LPQ is all about the food and conversations!!! The meal was a great one and hospitality one of the best we’ve received in a while!!
Value for Money: -NA-
(The BombayFoodies were sent to Le Pain Quotidien as a part of #FollowtheFoodie an initiative by Gourmetitup.com. It was a paid meal but honest opinions and reviews have been given by the reviewers)