It’s very rare that from the minute you enter a restaurant, your gut instinct goes to level 1 alert and one’s chef-dar starts beeping and not in a good way, and then from that moment on, as if on cue, the cascading effect of a monumental failure slowly starts to flow. Such was the case at Les Tablettes in Paris. It’s not as though one could blame a lack of custom in August, for the restaurant was full to the brim, for the poor service or the amateur food. Nope, it was just one of those nights that one wishes could be erased from one’s memory. So, to keep things brief and to the point, bullet points always help.
1) At least 30 minutes wait before a waiter came to our table.
2) The waitress was clearly on substances she shouldn’t have been on with glazed-over dilated eyes that kept darting everywhere but our table even when she was talking to us.
3) Our amuse of some sort of cream with some sort of foam with tomato jelly sums up exactly what one could make of its components.
4) My starter of Stuffed zucchini flowers with kalamata olives, basil and tomato juices tasted of something a 2 year old would have chewed for 10 minutes and then spat out. I felt embarrassed for the poor flowers to be looking the way they did.
5) Miss N’s Macaroni, foie gras, truffle, parmesan and veal juice sounded like the perfect combination of ingredients. You’re even shown a video of the dish being prepared and presented on an ipad. What it actually came across as… chewy thick pasta that had no inclination of revealing any hints of foie gras or truffle that it was supposedly stuffed with.
6) My main of Fillet and cheek of Angus beef provencal, duck liver, carrot dumplings only lasted 2 bites. Tough beef, flaccid dumplings filled with a carrot impersonating mush and something else that I failed to take notice of. The foie gras passed, thankfully.
7) N’s Scampi, black pepper, hummus, fennel, basil, juices of heads were so overcooked that they were more scampi puree encased in skin, and as you can see, messily and dirtily cooked. The hummus tasted like hot puree of cardboard and the rest wasn’t worth the ink printed on the menu.
8) Whilst we should have left right then, we foolishly decided to share a dessert, hoping it might fare better. Wild strawberries, chartreuse slush, ice rose water almost made us cry. The chartreuse slush was nice – in a ‘it’s the tastiest thing we’ve had’ kind of way. Chewing on cotton is more flavoursome than the strawberries that came with the dish and the pastry on the millefeuille obliterated everything else above it.
Halfway through our dessert, our darting-eye waitress brought a complimentary dessert of Grand cru chocolate, praline, cocoa sorbet and thumped it down on our table in a manner that implied the restaurant was doing us a charitable favour by giving us a free dessert. At least that had comfort value of being ice cream with hot chocolate sauce and a bit of crunch.
Service: I wish there was some.