Sunday, 28 April 2013

What the Elles?

Deep in the heart of Banglatown sits Chez Elles, a funny, little parody of a French Bistro. The room is trying (too hard?) to be wittily French and the staff all have the perfect (dare I say "Allo "Allo) manner. But they were welcoming and , Lord be praised, never mentioned the dreaded "We need the table back...."sentence. The Kirs were tasty and the menu promised an almost cliched assortment of oh-so French dishes. Having said that, my snails were delightfully garlicky and buttery and went down a treat. The Tartare was a little too roughly cut but not bad. The Creme Brulee was as it should be. From a very limited wine list we chose a perfectly good Rhone and the evening went with a swing and the ambience was relaxed. So, not fine dining but very fair prices and the food , while unadventurous,tasty enough. I give it a generous 7.5/10 because I had a really good time.


Chez Elles presents itself in rather a confusing manner - on the one hand an almost parodic version of 'la belle France' - all chintzy decor and frogs legs, waitresses out of the Amelie casting book - on the other hand decent bistro fare at decent prices. It has a certain charm...

Started with a refreshing kir served in those old-fashioned bistro wine glasses seldom seen on these shores any more. Ju and I shared an admirable planche Campagne consisting of pate, ham, rillettes and the like. I then plumped for duck confit which was ok, though accompanied by a somewhat synthetic tasting ratatouille.
Fine apple tart to finish, very drinkable cote de rhone throughout.

Definitely not fine dining, fair enough, but it would be nice if they strayed off the French Theme Park menu to offer some more surprising choices (like you get in the real France)....I'll give it a 6.75/10

The Bill