Thursday, 6 December 2012

Gentle Gourmet Café

The Gentle Gourmet Café is brought to you by the good people behind the now-closed B & B of the same name, as well as Paris Vegan Day and other events. The café serves 100% vegan, upmarket French food. No alcohol is served, but - get this - you can BYO! There's not even a corkage charge.

I've eaten here twice now, and really enjoyed my meal both times. I took a flexitarian and an omnivore along too, for good measure.

The menu is concise but appetising and changes frequently. The majority of the ingredients are organic. Here's what we ate...

Tartiflette! This is a French classic, particularly favoured by ski enthusiasts in the Alps:


It's a creamy, cheesy bake of potatoes with lardons. Here, entirely veganised. It was tasty, although maybe could have done with a little more creaminess.

My flexi friend chose the portobello burger, which turned out to be super. fucking. delicious. Juicy mushrooms, great sauce, extremely generous side of chips and salad. We both loved it:


Then I took my omnivore along one evening (hence decreased quality of photos). He had the portobello burger on my recommendation. Now with fat chips:


He enjoyed it, but would have preferred a burger patty over the mushrooms and fried onions that Flexi and I found so delicious.

Since Omni and everyone else in the restaurant had ordered a burger, I felt obliged not to order a burger. They were out of the excellent-sounding cajun tempeh dish, so I chose the seitan bourguignon:


Yes, it comes served in a potimarron, that most delicious of winter squashes! The bourguignon itself contains seitan, juicy mushrooms, and some root vegetables. It's a great winter warmer and extremely filling, but I thought the sauce could have had deeper flavour and there could have been more of it. Still, a very tasty main course.

Then came something that put the biggest smile on my face since Vöner in Berlin: crème fucking brûlée.


I can't tell you how much I loved this. We were supposed to share it, but it didn't quite work out like that. The caramel topping was perfect, and cracking it with my spoon actually made me squeal with delight. Just call me Amélie. The sweet creaminess below was more solid than the eggy/milky versions I've seen people eat. I loved it though. Really, really loved it.

The Gentle Gourmet is a great place to go for swanky or romantic meals. It's also a great place to go for vegan crème brûlée. Seriously, I might go back in the middle of an afternoon just for that beauty.

24 Boulevard de la Bastille, 75012 (map)
Métro: Bastille (lines 1, 8, 5) or Gare de Lyon (lines 1 and 14, RERs A and D)
Opening hours:
Tues-Sat: 9am-11pm.
Sun: 11am-3pm for brunch and 11am-11pm for take-away.
Mon: 9am-7pm for take-away.