French food is as beautiful as its people, perfumes and panache. On a balmy evening last month, we found ourselves at Artisan, the elegant French bistro housed inside Sofitel, BKC, Mumbai, waiting to sample the chef’s signature menu curated for Gout de France. Gout de France is an annual celebration of French gastronomy held across the world in fine French restaurants. Here’s how it all unfolded, in the mellow ambience of Artisan.
All good things begin with cheese
How we love the myriad textures, smells and tastes of gourmet cheeses. We were served an innovative comte cheese creme brulee with ‘red wine onion marmalade’. Cheesy with notes of sweetness thanks to the onions, this creamy surprise melted in our mouths. We also had or all-time favourite chevre (goat’s cheese) – pan-seared with red wine, onion marmalade and saffron pear sauce. The pairing of creamy, salty chevre with sweet pears and onions was a pleasing revelation.
Wine pairing: The dry and refreshing Hugel Riesling, Alsace, 2012
Full with Mille Feuille
Mille Feuille is traditionally a sweet, layered pastry but here we were presented with a genius savoury version. Vegetables, parsnip puree and cherry tomato sauce wedged between layers of puff pastry created the perfect blend of tastes and textures.
Wine pairing: La Vieille Ferme Blanc, Cote du Rhone, 2016 – fruity and pleasant
Eiffel Tower Crepe
What’s a French dinner without one of their irresistible crepes? Ours had a filling of asparagus and morel, cheese sauce and wild mushroom ragout. As you can imagine, it tasted absolutely divine, and every mouthful was silken perfection. But the most interesting part was a green pea mash served in the shape of the Eiffel Tower – what a lovely touch!
Wine pairing: Michel Lynch Rouge, Bordeaux, 2015 – a citrusy merlot-cabernet sauvignon blend
This was one cheese fiesta for sure. Just when we thought it was time for dessert, our attentive and knowledgeable server presented us with two cheeses – roquefort with beetroot dust and brie with honey and roasted fig. Honestly, they were as good as dessert and looked as wonderful as they tasted. The brie especially won our hearts.
Wine pairing: The tannin-rich Perrin Reserve, Cote du Rhone, 2013
Inspiration by Sofitel
This remarkable concoction had several tasty elements – cardamom meringue, lemon curd and cinnamon soil sesame tuile (a kind of baked wafer) but the star of the dish was a soft and decadent rosemary chocolate mousse. No dessert has disappeared off our plates quite so quickly.
Our perfect meal had come to an end but we doubt our affair with all things French ever will. Nous aimons la France!
Artisan is located on the ground floor of Sofitel at Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai. It is open from 7AM to midnight and set meals are usually priced at around 1500 INR per person. We’d like to make a special mention of their attentive host, servers and Chef Neeraj Rawoot.
Contact details: (+91)61175000 | firstname.lastname@example.org