Review: Le Pain Quotidien’s 10 Course Meal

Food-statutory Warning: For ones with comparatively smaller appetites and those with bigger appetites, who don’t enjoy a French feast (read: food minus spices), this menu is not for you.
Beware: Of the pretty looking plates presented. They are only but a feast for your eyes.
Enjoy: The experience of being a giant in an ant’s town.
Mandatory: The guys at LPQ believe in keeping the best for the last. It is absolutely necessary for you to wait till the end to try their mini desserts. Here, sweet-heavenly desserts come in small packages.
It was confirmed: after an exhausting working weekend, our Saturday night plan had to involve a long feast in a French setting to work as an anti-depressant. When we heard that Le Pain Quotidien has started a 10 course set menu of mini portions at a surprisingly low price and for a limited period, not much could be done to stop us from trying it out. We love their ambience and location (in the vast hustling commercial area of BKC that turns into wide by lanes of Sydney at night), which is perfect for dinner in this chilly weather.
Now the dinner list is created by combining dishes from their original menu and includes smaller portions of starters, salads, a soup, main course and desserts. It is interestingly varied when you look at the names and we were all set to get our binge on!
One can choose from their vegetarian and non-vegetarian menus, which are priced at Rs. 700 and Rs. 800 respectively. We decided to get one of each and share a 20-course meal between the two of us (yeah, we eat like there’s no tomorrow and variety is much needed in today’s day and age).
Here’s our take on what’s a hit and miss, one course at a time:
HIT
•The Forest Mushroom Tartine with Gruyere Cheese and the Smoked Chicken and Cheddar Cheese Tartine with Jalapeno Chillies were delish! The dish had 2 very cheesy, tangy mini triangles that started our meal with a bang of flavour. We’d like that one for breakfast in bed, please.
•The Mixed Bean and Quinoa Sprout Salad was fresh, colourful and had that extra zing from the lemon tahini dressing.
•We weren’t sure what category the Spinach Ravioli with Thyme Butter would go in, but it was a hit only because of the sauce.
•The Veg Lasagna was a tiny square of subtle Italian flavours – warm and creamy to beat the cold.
•The slow roasted Lamb Stew with Ricotta Dumplings was probably the best amongst all – the meat was so tender and the taste so good, it almost got us thinking the meal was worth it.
•The fisherman’s stew is for those who like the taste of fresh seafood that is unadulterated by other flavours.
•Then came the desserts – mini bites of warm pear and cinnamon tart, Belgian chocolate mousse and raspberry cheesecake. The aforementioned took us to a pretty French home with wooden décor, dim lights and a nice old little French lady who just served us some fresh out-of-the-oven pies and cakes that made us realize what a happy world we live in! It’s the warmth we felt with each bite that gave us hope; hope that desserts give meaning to life.

MISS

• You don’t want to swallow the Gazpacho (chilled soup) that is served in a shot glass and tastes like salsa dip gone wrong. You will need a shot of tequila to get over this one!

• The chicken meatballs were unappetizing and isn’t minced meat supposed to be served without cartilages? Yes, the unforgiving mistake was made with our not-fully-minced meatballs!

• The Chicken Tangine and Chicken Pot Pie would make for great dishes if we were bed-ridden. Really, they would.

• The Mediterranean platter looked as pretty as a French a girl. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for its taste.

There were too many disappointments that almost led us to believe that LPQ’s fan-following is make-believe. Their desserts were the knights in warm, sweet armour that saved the day!

The 10 course meal at LPQ is only set for dinners till 13th December 2012 and is priced at Rs. 700 for veg and Rs. 800 for non-veg exclusive of taxes.

Address 1: Le Pain Quotidien, Dhanraj Mahal, Opposite Indigo Deli, Colaba, Mumbai

Address 2: Le Pain Quotidien, G2, 3, North Avenue, Maker axity, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra (E), Mumbai 400051

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