24 April 2015
I used to love Mon Plaisir - everything enjoyable about Gallic eating, noisy, bustling, centuries of food and cooking, classic dishes, busy staff, competent not unctuous - a celebration of good brasserie eating. I hadn't been for years and night before last I couldn't believe how much we, the British foodie, has grown up and the over-riding impression that Mon Plaisir has not. Just like we have now had a mouthful of Chilean Malbec, rather than a thin Vin de Pays form the borders of a French wine region, we expect so much more from people who cook for us. A cassoulet can do more, rich flavours, herbs, deep colour, sausage that has infused the dish, and a piece of duck that has been brought to life by cooking not blanched in Tupperware in the catering fridge. It reminded me of the early Italian restaurants in 70's London, where 'pasta plus sauce' was enough for the Brits to think we were eating like Italians. So ..........the kitchen at Mon Plaisir has slept through four decades of the British restaurant industry, the staff are still competent and characterful, and the cheese tray/basket/selection is, well, it's as spectacular and eye-popping as you would expect in an old school French restaurant - but then it hasn't been cooked.