During my time here in London, I have to admit that I haven't made enough of an effort to stray out of my Central London comfort zone into East London. The furthest East I really tend to go is Liverpool Street (for my beloved Duck and Waffle, of course). So in the past couple of weeks I've tried to head East for a change. One of the meals I've had there recently was at Les Trois Garcons.
Les Trois Garcons is a bit of an institution in East London, having been around for over a decade when most of the area's establishments are generally much younger. Whilst the exterior of the restaurant looks like your run-of-the-mill, slightly run down pub (and very much over shadowed by its glitzy looking neighbour), the interior of the restaurant does feel like you've stepped into another world: one that is fantastical and really rather bizarre. Indeed, the interior of Les Trois Garcons is perhaps one of its most talked about features, with an eclectic assortment of statues and stuffed animals dotted around the place.
Fortunately, it's not all just smoke and mirrors - the dining experience is great too. First off, from the moment you walk through the door, you will be warmly welcomed by the staff that will make you feel right at home (even if your home is not adorned with crowned monkeys and winged bulldogs). The amuse-bouche that is served is also a nice touch.
For my starter, I had escargots served with ravioli of pig's trotters. The escargot, quite unexpectedly, tasted very Asian - garlic and green onion stir fry, to be exact - and was enjoyable. The ravioli was excellent: the pig's trotters made a tender and succulent filling, contrasting with the small strip of crispy bacon that also gives it an extra kick of flavour.
My non-meat-eating friend had the marinated cuttlefish, which again was curiously Asian flavoured - this time Thai chilli. The cuttlefish was done well, being cooked just right even though the pieces were quite chunky. Despite this, I personally would not have enjoyed this dish if it were mine. I don't think I would have been satisfied with a whole plate of just cuttlefish slices as a main course.
On the other hand, I thoroughly enjoyed my veal loin on the bone. At first, I was going to send the dish back because I had asked for the steak to be medium rare but it was barely pink. However, after one mouthful, I was very much happy. The steak was smooth and tender, barely resisting my knife, despite being medium well. The sauce was also delectable, with enough flavour to elevate the overall steak but not so much so that it took away from the steak.
Overall, I think that Les Trois Garcons is a great place for a bit of a dining experience, maybe a date or a special family celebration. An occasion you would dress up for. Everything about it is quite exciting, from the decor to the flavours used in the dishes. The spotless service and the look and feel of the place also gives it that classy feel to suit a special occasion. However, once you look past all the bells and whistles, I do think that the food could be better, particularly for the rather souped up price tag that comes with it.
Price: £ £ £ £ out of 5
You can find the Les Trois Garcons home page here.