May 2 2013

Les Trois Garcons

I have been going to Shoreditch House and Beach Blanket Babylon for around 6 years now, and I have never noticed Les Trois Garcons, which is situated right next to the before mentioned places and has been there even before them. Les Trois Garcons is a funny one, as it has a long history and many stories about it, which the people that know really like and appreciate and see when they enter Les Trois Garcons, but which the average restaurant goer may miss.

Les Trois Garcons does not look amazing from the outside, it is located in a converted Victorian pub dating back to 1880, and 3 men (les trois garcons) Hassan, Michel and Stefan acquired the building in 1996 as their home, coming from Malaysia, France and Sweden. 4 years later they decided to open a ground floor restaurant and up to this day, 2 of then, Hassan and Michel live upstairs on the 1st floor. There is a picture on one of the walls of the 3 men (I took a picture of it) with their 2 Dalmatian dogs, which unfortunately have now died as the waiter told us. I went to dinner with my friend Mark and he has been coming to this restaurant for many years, before Shoreditch became hip, and he says there was nothing around Les Trois Garcons pub then and it was extremely dodgy and mafia men with their cute little blonde wives (or mistresses) would come here for dinner. Mark has a special admiration for this place linked to the many stories he has heard about Les Trois Garcons and what used to happen in the restaurant and on the 1st floor, which for me (and many other guests) is hard to comprehend hence we don’t get the full feeling of Les Trois Garcons.

Once you walk into the restaurant, it could not be more different from the outside. The outside is plain as I said, but the inside is stunning and there are so many different things to look at. There are Crystal chandeliers and handbags hanging from the ceiling, different stuffed animals attached to the walls, one wall which I particularly liked had women’s jewelry attached to the wall, as well as many different sculptures of monkeys, tigers, crocodiles and other animals scattered all across the restaurant, so if you think you won’t have much to speak about with your dinner buddy, you can always take them here and spend ages discussing the décor of the restaurant.

The menu has classical French dishes with modern British influences. I thought the food was good, but I thought it was too expensive for what it was, and the portions were quite small, which meant that after my starter and main course I was still feeling a bit hungry, which rarely happens to me, and hence I did order a cheese course. For my starter I chose the “Pave de thon au poivre vert de Szechuan et creme fraiche”, which was Seared yellow fin tuna cured in green Szechuan pepper, creme fraiche, wasabi and honey dressed mash leaves. I thought it was a very basic dish, seared tuna with some leaves with a dressing and a dollop of crème fraiche. I could have created this at home in 10 minutes. Also I thought the portion was quite small. Mark had the “Coquille Saint-Jacques sur gratin de topinambours”, seared hand dived Scottish scallops with a gratin os Jerusalem artichokes and chestnuts, kumquat chutney and roe crackers. He did agree with me that the portions were quite small and for £12.50 he only got 3 scallops, but overall he thought it was an ok starter.

My main course was “Seiche marine et tentacules confites sur poivrons rouge” or Marinated cuttlefish served on red peppers with its tentacles and morning glory, and I was really looking forward to this dish, as you can very rarely see cuttlefish on the menu in restaurants apart from when it is used with it’s ink in a risotto. Cuttlefish has a lot of ink and therefore it is hard to cook it yourself, something I have thought of attempting, so I was keen to see it how they would do it. The cuttlefish was very nice and I loved how it was served with tentacles and red peppers, I did enjoy this. I also liked Mark’s main course of “Pave d’ agneau infuse a l’huile de noix de coco” or Rump of herdwick lamb, slow-cooked in coconut oil, white bean puree, peas, sumac seasoned baby artichokes, pea and lemon thyme jus. I did not taste the whole thing, just the lamb and that was nicely cooked although I could not really taste how it was cooked in coconut oil, Mark also seemed to like this and preferred the main course to the starter.

As I said, I was feeling a bit hungry after the 2 courses and so I ordered a cheese plate, which had 4 small pieces of different types of cheese, served with slices of apple and small raisin bread. I don’t like raisins so I took them out, and the cheese was average, although I thought quite small for £11.50. The petite fours they brought us at the end were also quite average.

I thought Les Trois Garcons had good, average and poor dishes on their menu, but what I loved was the atmosphere and the cool decor and what I did not like were the prices which I thought were too much for this restaurant.

Date: 02/05/13
Price for 2 with alcohol and service charge: £147.93
Location: Shoreditch

Les Trois Garcons on Urbanspoon

Maija rated: 



Les Trois Garcons
1 Club Row, E1 6JX
United Kingdom
Les Trois Garcons Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 3