|In a word: Génial!|
|Food: Beautifully presented gourmet-style vegan, veggie and raw dishes, full of flavour and where possible organic ingredients|
|Service: Attentive, friendly and great English|
|Presentation: The restaurant itself isn’t going to win any style awards, the food on the other hand looks fantastic|
|Ambience: The Saturday lunch time vibe was pretty laid back|
|Location: A short walk from Bastille metro stop in the centre of Paris|
|Value for money: This is beautiful food, well worth the €30 a head for a two course meal without booze|
|Worth a visit?: When in Paris and seeking good vegetarian and vegan food, this has to be on your must-eat list|
Located just down from Bastille Metro, Gentle Gourmet is somewhere you go for the food and the food alone; the restaurant decor and the views I found rather uninspiring, especially on a grey and cold January day. And people definitely do go for the food so I’d recommend phoning in advance to book yourself a table at Gentle Gourmet as it gets busy at the weekend, especially for Sunday brunch.
Alongside the restaurant, there is a small deli counter and selection of vegan, raw and veggie foods and books to take home with you, including some rather delicious Rrraw chocolates – we indulged in the rose-sesame variety to take away; cute packaging surrounding even cuter little squares of chocolatey goodness. They also stock my fave Pukka Teas along with Marley Coffee.
Now back to Gentle Gourmet…
The menu is small and well balanced. From the starters I chose the Raw Maki and he had the Baked Phyllo Rolls. For our mains, we both opted for the Portobello Burgers.
The large serving of Raw Maki was exactly what I wanted; I’m going through a veggie ‘sushi’ phase at the moment – I love the contrast of sea flavours, crunchy or creamy centres against the clean rice and the contrast of zingy wasabi. This lovely creation used finely grated carrot for the ‘rice’ with yellow pepper, avocado and macadamia in the centre, served with a blob of wasabi and smudge of shizo sauce. I was not disappointed with my hearty serve – each portion was just that bit too big for a mouthful, but I’m yet to find a better way to eat sushi than just ramming it in whole!
My partners Baked Phyllo Rolls were stuffed with wild mushrooms, faux gras (yep, that’s right, faux gras; no geese were stuffed with food for the sake of something yummy, faux gras is usually a lentil/mushroom/nut combo) and served with a balsamic reduction and heady truffle oil. A really nice balance of light filo pastry, meaty mushrooms and truffle flavours and a rich creamy sauce.
Our Portobello Mushroom Burgers hit another spot for us both, we were both craving something healthy yet warming and filling. A wholemeal bun filled with marinated Portobello mushrooms, caramelised onion, salad leaves and béarnaise sauce with a side of sautéed potatoes did just that. Highly recommended, and if you can’t get to Gentle Gourmet, they’re easily recreated at home.
To accompany our meal, I had a pot of delicious Løv is Pure tea to cleanse and warm me.
Although very tempting, we skipped dessert to continue our search for the best almond croissants in Paris.
The service was friendly and attentive, importantly for us due to our sketchy grasp of French, were able to speak very good English.
Full marks for the food though – smudges of sauce, edible flowers and micro-greens all prettied up the already good-looking food. The interior designer should take a leaf our of the chef’s book!
Nil points (pronounced in French a la Eurovision) for the restaurant’s appearance – it just lacked anything aesthetically pleasing. The perspex Eiffel Towers dotted about the place didn’t help lift the monochrome interiors into the style stakes. Maybe it’s work in progress…
Value for money:
Very happy with the generous serve of raw maki coming in at €8.50, Phyllo rolls were €12 and the Portobello burgers €15 each. Quality and organic ingredients in the centre of Paris.
Tel: +33 1 43 43 48 49
– please check before you visit
Wednesday to Sunday
Lunch 11.30am – 2pm (closed restaurant at 3pm)
Dinner 6.30pm – 11pm
Sunday brunch 11am – 1pm
Sunday lunch 1pm – 3pm