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EAT + DRINK / Delhi / Restaurants
Images courtesy Le Bistro and Vandana Verma

Le Bistro Du Parc

by Vandana Verma

1 September 2014

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 Alexis, the brand-new French chef in Bistro’s kitchen, have worked on an interest-piquing menu that, rather than peddling spendy plates of trad Gallic fare, sends out skillfully-executed modern Parisienne dishes at reasonable prices that use both local and seasonal ingredients. 

On our last visit we were bowled over by the celadon salad, where green grape, pear, candied pistachio and a vivid green pea puree combined into beautifully crunchy and sweet-smelling bowl. But if you were similarly captivated that dish, fret not, because the new summer menu is bursting with delicious encores. 

To start, we loved the home-cured Indian salmon with dill and a lovely sauce vierge. Made with excellent olive oil, we polished off this beautiful fish dish in seconds. The chicken liver was both smooth as silk and had adequate heft, served with a duo of delicately chopped chutneys and grape slivers, both starters so good I’d like to order them portioned as main courses on my next visit (they’ll do that, yes).

The agneau confit pendant 7 heures (that’s “7-hour confit lamb to you and me) was gorgeous; tender enough to eat with a spoon, with a wine-infused red onion jam that we mopped up with greedy mouthfuls of the super-tender, herb-scented meat. A pan-fried red snapper was generously portioned and served with a creamy fennel and green pea mousse, topped with an intriguing squid ink “dust,” while the incredibly-satisfying tomato and mozzarella tart arrived topped with a gooey cap of mozzarella and caramelised onion, alongside a bed of sautéed spinach.

Reservations are essential at the weekend, and if you’re growing weary of the capital’s increasingly overpriced new restaurants, give Bistro a go (if you haven’t already), because dinner at this delightful park-facing eatery offers all sorts of other reaffirming pleasures: a wine list that’s not aggressively priced, a herbaceous rosemary-laced Bloody Mary that is one of the best we’ve ever had, a wonderful Bellini with fresh pomegranate juice, and service that is attentive and knowledgeable, but never overbearing. 

By this point in our meal we were absolutely bursting, but dessert is essential, and a deconstructed lemon tart did not disappoint, with an orb of tart, sticky lemon curd and light batons of meringue. Add a sticky Valrhona chocolate rocher, and with each deeply pleasing mouthful we affirmed: definitely l’amour, from first to last bite.