Over at Xintiandi, a new bistro from the group that brought the city Paris Rouge has opened: Paris Bleu.
The restaurant is divided into two levels; the fine dining on the upper level features a clean Nordic minimalist decor that one would even argue that it’s Japanese; and the ground level that is a more casual bistro-bar with a live band after 9pm.
In the kitchen (part-time, at least) is French chef Jean Christophe Ansanay-Alex, who interestingly, cooks with just one arm having lost the other in a car accident aged 24. Against the odds, he rose through the cut-throat culinary ranks to become the head chef at Auberge de L’ile, a Michelin two-star restaurant in Lyon, France.
President Xi went to his restaurant in Lyon and praised his cooking, so imagine the limelight Chef Jean commands when he is headlined in this bistro.
The Christmas Dinner
This was a Christmas dinner and therefore without a proper booking, I could not get a table upstairs. But the waiter said he could arrange for the food to be served down here too.
1/ Wedge Caesar salad
OK, the first course came as a disappointment. The salad was haphazardly assembled with a rough drizzle of the Caesar salad dressing. The taste was alright, but not expected from a 2-star chef.
2/ Pan fried potato
The potato was fried in bacon fat with rosemary and other herbs. The flavour was definitely very French bistro style potato, and there’s the toasted baguette for you to enjoy the buttery sauce in the potato. I am starting to think we have been cheated about the fine dining part.
3/ Chilled seafood
That’s it, we knew it was not fine dining. Chilled seafood on ice is never served in a fine dining restaurant, and freshness of the seafood was to be desired.
4/ Salt-baked Sea Bream
Under flavoured, under salted, the fish was dry and the fennel salad all over the fish just killed the dish with its acidity.
I was so disappointed by the level of French cuisine in this country. Why can’t they really produce any good, authentic French restaurant that last? After the fanfare, these restaurants usually fall off the cliff in terms of standard and serving. And worse still, they started to incorporate Chinese ideas. If I wanted Chinese food, I would have much better choices in this city.
Paris Bleu Bistro
Lane 123, Xingye Lu, Xintiandi, No 5, Room 105, 1/F, by Madang Lu
Tel : 6322 0121
Date Visited : Dec 2017
PS: Closed in 2020 – no sure is it because of Covid-19 or just the poor standard.