On a particularly cold evening, we finally managed to nab ourselves a table at Nick Honeyman's Paris Butter and were looking forward to the full Gallic experience. Walking into the warmly lit interior of cool beige, filled to the brim with well-heeled patrons, we realised this is more of a put-a-nice-frock-on restaurant than a rustic, back-street bistro. Chandeliers confirmed our suspicions. Tables are well spaced apart, so even though it was busy and buzzing, there was still a sense of intimacy.
Once we were seated, my dining companion dithered over whether to start with the Salad “Nicoise” a deconstructed dish of sashimi kingfish, melon, celery, green beans and potato or the Parmesan Soup with minestrone condiments. She went for the former and while it was a perfectly pleasing dish there was some lamenting the next day when food editor Claire Aldous raved about her experience with the soup and its unexpected brilliance. Next time.
A starter of Gin Cured Salmon with dill, shallots and coconut crème fraiche was also chosen – because it’s hard to resist anything with the word dill in it. However, this lovely, delicate herb was sadly lacking on the plate. And while the salmon was lovely and smooth, again, if there was coconut in the crème fraiche the palate had to work hard to find it.
A main course of the Butcher’s Cut with Paris Butter, house fries and black garlic rouille is reason enough to return, however. The steak, medium-rare, was flavourful, tender and perfectly cooked and seasoned. The Prawn Ravioli, fish mousse, saffron, root vegetables and sauce bisque was also declared wonderfully fragrant.
We probably didn’t need to order the bread with truffle butter on the side, but we’re glad we did. Truffle butter is hard to regret. Perusing the dessert menu had us Googling tonka beans (which come as a “Bavarois” served with lychee and meringue) but as curious as we were, our full stomachs would not allow it. When we do return, however, this and the Paris Butter Rice Pudding Set with caramel, fruits and nuts is going on the order, full stomachs or not. Also open for lunch, or for an afternoon aperitif and snack, this French-inspired local is well worth a visit. Bon appetit!