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Tasty surprises at Pierre Sang Boyer

Having read many good things about Pierre Sang Boyer, bolstered by the image that I had of the chef from watching him on the French Top Chef Season 2 (ah, my first months in Paris and watching TC2 was, ahem, “a way to improve my French”), F and I recently found ourselves queueing for dinner in his restaurant in Oberkampf. Not once, but twice, in as many months.

A no-reservation policy (unless party of 6 or more – used to be strictly none) was the main factor that put us off for a long time from dining here, but now that the early days buzz had calmed down somewhat, we found that by arriving a few minutes ahead of opening time got us our table without any problem. Just as well, given the winter weather is not particularly suited for long wait outside.

Dinner @ Pierre Sang Boyer

So here’s the concept of eating at PSB: He’s a champion of the ethics of locavore as well as sustainable fishing. He works with local producers and sources what’s fresh and available according to the market and the season. The menu therefore changes day-to-day, sometimes even within the service if something runs out. This simplifies thing (and cooking), and fret not, guests are enquired shortly after being seated if there are any food restrictions or allergies.

We had no idea what we were served at the start of each course and were encouraged to dissect the dish so to identify the components. I thought that was fun, and it also taught me something about myself: I am rubbish at guess-tasting since I just about got half my guesses right… (I should probably also not accept blind-tasting challenges since it is reportedly much harder to guess without the visuals!)

Would you like to take a stab at the dishes from our first meal?

Dinner @ Pierre Sang Boyer

Dinner @ Pierre Sang Boyer

Dinner @ Pierre Sang Boyer

Dinner @ Pierre Sang Boyer

Dinner @ Pierre Sang Boyer

Dinner @ Pierre Sang Boyer

Now, how do you think you do in this little pop quiz? [1] Pumpkin soup, a sliver of herring, red onion, pink peppercorn [2] fish**, battered andouilette, micro-leaves [3] low-temperature poached egg, crystalline iceplant, crackers, spiced sauce** [4] pork, heirloom carrots, topinambour, jus from the roast [5] young comté, pear and pineapple coulis [6] pistachio cake, caramel cream, caramel, salted caramel sorbet, brittles.

(** I had detailed note on this meal but in the move, I’ve somehow misplaced it, and I hate it that I couldn’t do better in recalling what exactly they were. I’m sure the note will also turn up a few days after this when I’ve finally stopped searching for it.)

F’s eldest brother and sister-in-law joined us for this meal and they were duly impressed. Not knowing the dishes beforehand had certainly kicked in a certain sense of adventure; H even ate the soft-poached egg that she would normally avoid at all cost! All of us agreed this is a restaurant worth revisiting often, even if only just to see how else we could be surprised.

Shall we go on to the second round? Ready, set, forks up!

Dinner @ Pierre Sang Boyer

Dinner @ Pierre Sang Boyer

Dinner @ Pierre Sang Boyer

Dinner @ Pierre Sang Boyer

Dinner @ Pierre Sang Boyer

Dinner @ Pierre Sang Boyer

And here are the answers: [1] salmon tartare, anise, red onion [2] pan-seared scallop, Savoy cabbage, celeriac cream [3] topinambour soup, carrots, salsify, watermelon radish, cured ham [4] bread-crumbed pork, herring, wild rice [5] cantal, bitter orange and lemon coulis [6] pistachio cake, pear, strawberry sorbet.

This time, F’s parents joined us and it was particularly bold to invite my in-laws to a restaurant that serves a 6-course unknown menu. However, that’s the magic of eating in Paris that’s unlikely to be found where they live! They enjoyed the meal but I’m not entirely sure the setting/ambiance (bar seating, next to the open kitchen, near the music player) was right for them. My personal snag: I thought the pork could do with more crunch on the outside.

Throughout both meals, service was cheerful, friendly, efficient and never harried. I like observing the comings and goings of the kitchen too, at their deft and quiet movements in cooking and plating up. It was the occasional use of hand mixer at the kitchen end sent us slightly jarred given the vibration down along the table to our end.

There are different pricing for the menu depending on the time of the day. Lunch service is more adaptable to the diner’s wants and time availability: 2-courses at €20, 3-courses at €25 and 5-courses at €35. Dinner menu costs €39 but unless you arrive prior to 9.30pm, the same amount will beget you only 4-courses instead of 6-courses. Be there early – you don’t want to miss out on two dishes!

Restaurant Pierre Sang in Oberkampf
55 rue Oberkampf, 75011 Paris
Métro: Oberkampf or Parmentier
Daily 12.00pm – 2.30pm, 7.00pm – 10.30pm; except Sunday and Monday

Category: Food & Drink, Paris

Tagged: , , ,

8 scribbles & notes

  1. med says:

    yuummmmmmyyyyyyyyy…very far for me lil kekekek ;)

  2. Chloé says:

    i need to head out there :)

  3. Joyce says:

    Drooling photos.. Had some free time on Sunday but unfortunately they are not open on Sundays!! Its such a culture difference that most of the restaurants here make their earnings on Sat n Sun..

    • Lil says:

      Yes, France doesn’t always do weekend openings, despite what we may think about its benefits in terms of profitability. You’ll have to come back then :)

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