Bistro about Town

Le Bistro du Parc is a quaintly done restaurant, overlooking the park in the Moolchand Market, that’s next to Defense Colony. It can’t be called large, cosy or spacious though they have managed to pack in everything that matters; perhaps a little too much. I loved the obvious display of cutlery, glasses and glass jars of pickled lemons among other fruits. And books, there were a few interesting books on the shelves. Slates served as menus. A multi-purpose bar crammed into a corner churned out coffee and non-alcoholic drinks with the possible inclusion of alcoholic beverages when they obtain their license. Definitely not cramped and certainly comfortable and highly interesting, were my first impressions of Le Bistro de Parc. The availability of newspapers as a matter of routine, judging by the newspaper rack in a corner, made this bistro all the more dearer. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve entered a cafe, asked for anything to read and found nothing. Their opening for breakfast would be nice; I’d love to drop in for a croissant, coffee and newspaper if they do.

Ours was a Blogger’s Table consisting of Nachiketa, Sushmita, Charis and me, and we intended to try a wide sampling of this bistro’s wares. We began our evening repast with salads – Salade Midinette ( chicken, green apple, celery, pomegranate seeds, parsley mayonnaise) and Fricasee de Calamas (squid, garlic, potatoes, tomatoes, olives). Fresh, creamy, crusty, and crunchy as expected, each salad was quite interesting and I’d order any of them again for a light lunch, perhaps paired with a soup and a little bread. Be warned: the Chicken Liver Parfait includes the delicate and understated variety of pate as opposed to the robust version I usually prefer.

Pan-fried Red Snapper with Ratatouille Vegetables in a bed of Lemon Foam
Pan-fried Red Snapper with Ratatouille Vegetables in a bed of Lemon Foam

The Grilled Lamb with Vegetables came exactly as we asked – medium rare. Minty and going very well with the baby potatoes and peas it was served with, though average, the lamb was miles ahead of the beef, a dish that needs serious looking into. It was Indian buffalo, an animal that must, for most part, be cooked well-done due to issues of texture and health. We asked for medium-rare and received our dish just short of raw, a condition that was explained as ‘In France, we do it this way’, which unfortunately doesn’t cut it for a number of reasons. It was however sent back into the kitchen from where it came back with half the dish fixed and the other half as before. Our Chicken and Zucchini with  Olive Tapenade  was well done, perhaps a little too much so, served with sauteed courgettes and an olive tapenade. A well executed though unremarkable dish followed by a similarly well executed Pan-fried Red Snapper with Ratatouille Vegetables in a bed of Lemon Foam with a lovely crust that tasted quite nice with the assorted bell peppers and lemon foam on the plate.

Then it was time for the ladies on the table to squeal in unison. No it wasn’t a rat. It was dessert, five of them to be precise. Lemon Tart with Meringue, Raspberry Charlotte, and Plum, Almond Tart, Chocolate mousse and Pistachio Paris Brest. I’m given to understand they were most satisfactory and suggest you read Charis and Nachiketa’s accounts for details on the desserts.

I’d return to Le Bistro du Parc and after after letting them know that I’d like my food to keep Indian conditions in mind (our buffalo certainly aren’t bred for searing and eating rare), would proceed to enjoy a full contact evening with a French Bistro. Perhaps you might like to do so too.

Sid Khullar

Sid Khullar is the founder of Chef at Large, a blog that began in 2007. He enjoys cooking, writing, travelling and technology in addition to being a practising Freemason. Health and wellness is a particularly passionate focus. Sid prefers the company of food and animals to most humans, and can be reached at sid.khullar@chefatlarge.in.