L’Auberge de Pierre

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Mention France and some icons come to immediate mind – The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Arc de Triomphe – now you can add another one – l’Auberge de Pierre in Pratamnak!

Now it is probably understandable that you haven’t heard of l’Auberge de Pierre as it has only been open since the end of April, but since that time it has already built a passionate following. However, it is very, very French – be that from the red and white chequered tablecloths, service personnel aprons and most of all, the very, very, very French accents heard everywhere in the restaurant, and not least from owner Josse Dachicourt (front of house – as Pierre is in the kitchen)!

The restaurant is situated on Pratamnak Road, (previously known as the Strogonoff restaurant) and is almost at the corner of Soi 4. In fact, park in Soi 4 is a much better idea as there is very little parking in front of the restaurant.

It is a double shop-house frontage with an al fresco area at the front, and air-conditioned inside with the divider between the two sides of the shop-house making each side a little more private.

Once seated a house cocktail arrived on our table, what a great welcome. We were then presented with a plate of pate and some hot French bread. I could have stayed at that for the rest of the evening, it was so enjoyable!

L’Auberge de Pierre is a good example of why French cooking is so varied and so well thought of since the times of Escoffier, while British ‘cuisine’ (if you can call it that) is so boring and dull in comparison.

Really making the diner understand the art of the kitchen, you are presented with a choice of 11 starters and 15 mains, and a full dessert trolley. Now this is where the Auberge de Pierre has its own unique way of presenting a dinner menu. Begin with one of their own cocktails, followed by the pate and then your selection of starter and a main. With free-flow drinks (red or white wine, Chang beer, sodas, water) while you are enjoying your starter and main course, and this option costs B. 790. If you do not want the free-flow, then the food part of the equation is just B. 500.

The standard of the food is excellent and so very varied. This is not your average set menu style. Take your time as the items are very different in some cases.

After the pate, we began with a salad for Madame and a tartar of avocado with crab, marinated in lemon for me. Madame enjoyed her salad and I was very taken with the avocado/crab.

Independently we had both selected the Beef Stew Bourguignon, a suitably French dish that cannot be rushed. The beef could be cut with a spoon and the vegetables still retained their texture but softened after many hours in the slow cooker.

The dessert trolley was offered, but after a starter and a main, we did not have room, but a Ricard was a wonderful way of finishing our evening.

This is definitely a restaurant which is well worth your patronage, be you Gallic or otherwise. Pierre is an excellent chef (the tartar of avocado with the lemon marinated crab was superb), and the set menu B. 790 including free flow drinks during the starters and main courses, or B. 500 without drinks, is an epicurean bargain. As it is not a very large restaurant I would suggest that it is best to book.

L’Auberge de Pierre, corner Soi 4 Pratamnak Road, open six days (closed Mondays), hours 11.30 to 2.30 for lunch and then 6.30 to 11 p.m. On-street parking best in Soi 4. Telephone 093 864 9080, web www.aubergedepierre.com