Sunday, 25 April 2010

Paris Brasserie, Rodley

Paris Brasserie used to be Oliver’s Paris and reopened its doors late last year. It is in a 19th century building just off the ring road in Rodley. Despite it being Saturday night, we managed to secure a table for four when we called in the afternoon. So off we went with our dining companions, the Robster and GemBear.

We had a drink in the bar and were quickly seated at our table. A significant part of the dining room is in a conservatory, making it very light and airy when the sun is still up.

The menu is a mix of traditional dishes (Steak and Ale Pie, Gressingham Duck), French classics (Moules marinere) and steaks. In fact there were so many wonderful dishes, we found it hard to decide what to have. In the end, I went for one of the specials for first course – Battered frogs legs. This would be a first for me, so I was quite excited to see what they were like. And the verdict is...... not a lot of meat, as you would expect, and rather like chicken.

The Robster chose Scallops with pancetta and pea puree, which he enjoyed. He commented that the pea puree was particularly good.

GemBear chose the goat’s cheese and onion in filo pastry. It was a good sized portion but it held no fears for GemBear. Again, thumbs up for this dish.

The individual fish pie for main course contained white fish, salmon, scallops and king prawns. The amount of fish was substantial in a creamy white sauce. However, I am not convinced that chilli should be included in the sauce – it’s all a bit Jamie Oliver – chilli obsessive.* Mashed potato and cheese topped the dish off well, and vegetables were served on the side. The baby carrots were particularly tasty.

The boys had rib eye steak, which they described as a bit dry. This is unusual for rib eye which is usually marbled with fat, making it a moist cut. A range of sauces are available with the steaks (including the strange sounding Monkey Gland Sauce)** but the boys decided to have it without. The dish came with fries, onion rings and mushrooms.

Pudding was warm cinnamon doughnuts with milk chocolate sauce and ice cream. These were good, with a crispy texture from frying. Cappuccino and Lattes were also ordered.

Service is friendly and a little slow. The food isn’t slow to arrive, but it felt we were left quite a while before our dessert and coffee order was taken. There is a bit of a “held-hostage” moment at the end, waiting for the bill. This is not a big deal, however, as you want to make a night of it at the Paris Brasserie, given that it is fairly isolated. I think we would have felt a bit cheated had we been in and out in an hour.

Overall, I would recommend this restaurant. There is an early bird menu which looks like good value and the evening menu is varied. Another bonus, for the boys, is that they serve Leeds Best beer – nice to see Leeds Brewery ales becoming more widely available.

*A suggestion for a boring evening - Try the Jamie Oliver drinking game – every time he includes chilli or olive oil in his cooking on TV, down a drink.

**I have googled this and found it is of South African origin and includes fruit chutney, red wine, port, ketchup, curry powder, Tabasco, Worcester sauce, pepper, garlic, onion, chillies, mustard powder brown sugar and vinegar – so no monkeys are harmed in the making of this sauce.

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