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EAT + DRINK / Delhi / Restaurants
Images courtesy Vandana Verma

Le Bistro Du Parc

by Vandana Verma

15 July 2013

A 57/58/59 DDA Shopping Complex, Defence colony. Opposite Moolchand Hospital and across the park from Flavors.
Ph: +91.11.4678.0080

Eat extremely well and fairly inexpensively at this bistro that’s entirely focussed on the food.

Forget the stuffy French cooking of, say, The Orient Express. And forget the accompanying bill.  Le Bistro Du Parc proffers creative, gourmet cooking at reasonable prices, with a menu that isn’t classic-referencing or dated. Instead the ingredients are quality, the cooking is top notch and the food that’ll make its way to your table is replete with inventive riffs.

Proprietor Naïna de Bois-Juzan and her French chef have worked on an interest-piquing menu that, rather than peddling spendy plates of trad Gallic fare, sends out skillfully-executed modern dishes at reasonable prices that use both local and seasonal ingredients.

This means that the celadon salad, named for the distinctively hued ceramic, is a revelation: fresh, tart and bursting with flavour. Green grape, pear, candied pistachio and a vivid green pea puree combine into beautifully crunchy and sweet-smelling bowl. A savoury mille feuille is layered with a spread of goat’s cheese and red pepper while a bowlful of calamari is tossed with olive and tomato, both so good I’d like to order them portioned as main courses on my next visit (they’ll do that, yes).

The braised lamb shoulder is gorgeous; super-tender lamb in a sauce fragrant with apricot and anise, an utter delight. By this point we were full to bursting, but we ordered the savoury French toast anyway. I kind of wish we hadn’t – it was comforting and moreish, but outdone and outshone by the lamb dish that preceded it.

Be sure to make reservations and have a glass of wine at home (the bistro hasn’t gotten its license just yet), although their mocktails are delicious - an orange “mojito” might’ve been short one shot of mojo, but made up for it with effervescence and fresh, citrus zing.

Only dessert was a touch disappointing. The crème brûlée was just alright, and the floating island, which should feature a pillow of meringue floating in vanilla-scented custard, was disappointingly eggy. However all was forgiven via the lemon tart, sticky with lemon curd and topped with a cloud of meringue. Add great service and a menu that’ll change weekly, and it’s definitely l’amour at first bite.