Friday, January 27, 2012

C’est La Vie – or not

Do restaurants that aim to bring new cuisines into a city bear the responsibility of making sure that the diner’s experience is anything but disappointing? Afraid so; but very few live up to those expectations…

I have never been to France. It’s on my bucket list, but I am not working on my bucket list at the moment. However, I was willing to travel to Seven Hotel to their restaurant called C’est La Vie. Well honestly, I was surprised that the place is still open, considering no one had been talking about it for a while. But instead of relying on my instincts, which is what I should have done, a bunch of us drove out to Outer Ring Road to eat ‘French Food’. It was an exciting moment for all of us. And as we brushed up on the five French words we knew to identify names of food, the restaurant and cafĂ© brought a smile onto our faces. It was cute.
And that was the end of our fabulous journey.
The menu at C’est La Vie was anything but French; except for the Duck Parmentier and a few dishes here and there. They had chicken nuggets on the menu and stuff that we only cook frozen when unexpected guests drop in.
But willing to forgive slighter misgivings, we ordered a bottle of wine which came with a free cheese platter - cheese being slices of processed cheese and a few slices of brie that didn’t look or taste too fresh.
And then there was the Chicken Pappiti – neither of us knew what that was. A few pieces of chicken were rolled and stuck with toothpicks and looked a little like bacon wrapped chicken and served with fries. They weren’t bacon wrapped chicken. It was more like chicken tossed in a kind of vinegar and pan-fried. The fries were good, especially with a bowl of ketchup, and I don’t even eat ketchup.
The Warm Goat Cheese on Bread looked rather rustic, in a nice kind of way. However, that goat cheese could be warmer and I can’t quite imagine the fussy French biting into large chunks of toasted bread and having crumb all over their plates and expensive clothing. Some greens were on the side to resemble a salad and hidden underneath were cubes of cucumber and tomatoes.
I also believe that the goat cheese was kind of older than I expected.
I don’t know how the main course tasted because whatever we wanted to order was either not there or ‘not good’ according to a chef we never saw appear from the kitchen door. The Duck Parmentier was on the top of our mind but not made available to us.
However, the Bisque Soup was sort of edible. Bits of prawn in a nice wholesome tomato based soup – I ate that to control my growing rage because the Chicken Brie Soup was heartbreaking. It smelt of flour of coconut milk and was so pale than I could have seen a ghost. There was zero texture and where on earth was the spinach that is supposed to go into that soup?
The table next to us was taken and the diners there too were having difficulty with the food. I realised their problem when one said, “As far as I know, pesto sauce is supposed to be red in colour.”
Sadly, much to their disadvantage, they didn’t know that they were in a restaurant that completely fit their dining profile – clueless.
Nope. Looks like I have to start working on that real bucket list soon.