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Les Trois Garcons


PCL
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I had dinner there last night, on Club Row, E1, off Bethnal Green Rd... but more about that later...

I searched it on the UK forum this morning, and hey, some of you even thought it had disappeared of the face of the planet, which unfortunately for me, it hadn't...

...it was meant to be a dinner without expectations, as even without having seen the brief but explicit comments on the forum, LTG has been widely touted as a place without much substance, but high on the camp... Mrs PCL and friends had decided to do a 'fun' evening, and I had been warned at length not to criticise the food and just enjoy the company... it should be noted, however, that pre-dinner drinks at Lounge Lovers, owned by LTG was great, nicely mixed/built cocktails, kind of reasonable at around £6-8 on average, although pricey for this end of town... the eye candy was even better value.

But dinner... first of all, the dining room had a pervasive odour about it, much like the kitchen greasetraps, which led me to believe that the extraction system simply wasn't working. The deco, well, if you like kitsch, then good. Too much plastic, rhinestones, and an unappetising stuffed bulldog on a pedestal as soon as you walk in... a stag's head on one wall above the toilets, numerous other bits of, well, um, stuff...

so, dinner, almost everyone had the grilled goat's cheese salad to start, whereas I opted for the grilled king prawns with a salsify emulsion... everything smelled the same... the cheese was rubbery, the salad dressed with a sweetish, pre-mixed sweet sour sauce type coating, and the prawns well, the highlight of the evening... firm, juicy, nicely charred, but the emulsion, well, maybe they'd forgotten to lace the plate with it...

...seeing as everything was in the same price bracket for mains, ie. £18-20, I went for the venison fillet with foie gras and duck breast... why? because i wasn't feeling myself after having gotten off an overnight flight in from Dubai that morning, and would rather have been chomping on a piece of grilled skirt with shallots...and because in a way, i was wondering how spectacularly they could mess this one up... and in no way was i dissappointed in this regard...

...it was FUBAR... the venison and duck tasted like so many layers of parchment soaked and then set alight, the foie, well, i'm not sure they knew what its really meant to be because it wasn't so much more than a charred, and i mean, carbonised slice of some type of liver, i don't think foie gras can withstand the level of heat this particular piece of re-carbonated protein was subjected to... and the sauce, ostensibly a demi-glaze but upon closer inspections, probably something from the Bottom Of The Barrel... and it wasn't even warm, tepid would have been preferable to the temperature it was served at...makes you wonder about safety...

and wine?...more BOTB... and the prices, well, like what everyone has said, too pricey for what you might even find in the bargain bin at ASDA... I won't even go into what we had to drink...

...or for dessert... as if the horror of it all hadn't hit anyone but me at dinner... I felt so bad about what was in front of me that I didn't even bother to scavenge tasters off of other people's plates... my wife thought I was sick...

...as for the bill, well, £50/head was what it came to, and to make things even worse, they had to give everyone multiple card chits due to some malfunction in their system whereby they couldn't put more than 40 quid on at once... plus they couldn't take AMEX.... I was like, THIS close to saying I wasn't paying the gratuity, but in the end, was too dejected, and perhaps weakened by the unholy experience to even protest, I just signed it away, hoping to erase it all by walking out the door... the truly startling thing was that fellow diners (dare I call them that??) were cooing, ooing and ahhing over "lovely" tasting and "fantastic" plates, I mean, did they all come in with their tongues numbed??....

and to be honest, I felt like death this morning, not from any nasties or anything but just from the knowledge that I had subjected myself to an experience which I could have avoided... and never before had previously read reviews of a place been so accurate that I would be driven to add this one piece of pathetic protest for the sake of posterity...

In summing up, the Lounge Lovers was great, Cable Row E1 for reference, but how LTG has managed to endure by dishing out utter - don't know if I can say it, but I will anyway - crap and charging a bull at you for it, is beyond me... explanations welcome, and I suspect it to be the greatest joke every played on the London restaurant scene... make it expensive, and people will come just to say they can spend... but really, I'm the one who feels FUBAR and BOTB for having even agreed to go there in the first place.

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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I don't ever recall hearing good things about this place. For example, Harden's guide (rating 1-5 where 1 is high, 5 is low ) gives it 4 for food; 4 for service; 1 for atmosphere. Comments include that "its in decline", food is described as "lax", service "poor" and prices "ridiculous".

I would therefore like to formally announce the opening of "The eGullet.com Support Centre for the Former Customers of LTG". Please, tell us your stories on this thread. Be assured, you are amongst friends, we understand your pain and we can help you on the long road to recovery.

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Have never been, but used to live just up the street. For months before it opened, there was no obvious clues that it was going to be a restaurant...it simply appeared to be a lavishly decorated house filled to the brim with stuffed animals. Me and and my flatemates assumed that a Bond villain lived there.

Never thought to actually eat there...which seems to have been a good thing.

EDIT: My younger brother, who is a bit of a Shoreditch twat (and is also, it must be said, more fashionable, attractive and generally popular then I am) assures me that Lounge Lovers is "the coolest bar in London". He tried to take me there when I was in London last but it was too cool to be open during the day. I was secretly disappointed.

Edited by VeryApe77 (log)
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...it simply appeared to be a lavishly decorated house filled to the brim with stuffed animals. Me and and my flatemates assumed that a Bond villain lived there.

:biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:

As an aside, are these "stuffed animals" as in taxidermically stuffed, or stuffed animals as in Teddy Bears, Snoopy et al? Both would be appropriate for a Bond villain; but only the former would be even remotely understandable for a restaurant - and even then, it should be called Ye Olde Grumpy Hunter and not les trois garcons...everything about this place sounds incongruous and random.

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As an aside, are these "stuffed animals" as in taxidermically stuffed, or stuffed animals as in Teddy Bears, Snoopy et al?

The former! It's been a while but I think I remember a taxidermied Zebra, and various animals of that nature. From what I can tell, I think "incongruous and random" sums it up pretty well. Of course, if the food was amazing, it would be a different story....

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Good to know I am not alone... has anyone actually eaten there? I am hoping that by perhaps talking a bit more about the food to actually therapeutically rid myself of the horror and psychological scarring that I have experienced from the entire ordeal...

...and for the record, I didn't think Bond Villain... even they have better taste, perhaps Rejected-Austin-Powers-Movie-Set might be better, even then, I don't think it would have made the grade...

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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  • 2 years later...

I went quite recently. The new chef is very good imho and the place was 75% full, not bad for a monday and what is a big room. I thought it was just great and the crowd was a nice mix of ages. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves and the decor etc in this valiant old boozer saved from the squatters is romantic, baroque and brilliant. One of the restaurants that make going out to eat a joy again as its more than just creative and inventive food, it's an environment and an event. Oh and Loungelover for drinks after, well cool.

No I don't work there or anything, I just think it now needs reappraising, the comments here refer to a different chef and many years ago.

S

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i remember going near the time it first opened. was awful, food was ok then but seriously overpriced, decor (back then) was cool but that whole look is over now I think. We ended up on a table next to a loud foursome of essex types. nuff said.

loungelovers used to be quite good during the week, but weekend nowaways its pretty dire.

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i remember going near the time it first opened.  was awful, food was ok then but seriously overpriced, decor (back then) was cool but that whole look is over now I think.  We ended up on a table next to a loud foursome of essex types. nuff said.

loungelovers used to be quite good during the week, but weekend nowaways its pretty dire.

Well of course at weekends all the new media kids are at home in other parts of London. I dont think the look is over, it's always new to someone. And at least they dont have those high-backed brown leather chairs, the ones that just about every restaurant in London seems to have these days. I wish I was the bloke who retailed them, he must be retired in Bermuda by now

S

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  • 3 weeks later...

Have eaten there several times over the past 7 months, out of town, but happily, and the cuisine was lovely, delightful, engaging. Chef Henry is cooking up a storm! As always, we have each our own opinions, bien sur.

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I ate there a couple of weeks ago too and was pleasantly surprised, parsnip soup with a roquefort ravioli was a particular highlight and the wine list was surprisingly reasonably priced. Seemed to be full of a curious mix of the b&t crowd and business men (lost?) although the essex girl on the table next to mine seemed confused that her carpaccio was raw...

"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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