French cuisine. It certainly has some connotations to it – class, grandeur, exquisiteness. If you think French cuisine, you expect the best. And you very often get it. Especially if you visit Mon Plaisir, London’s oldest French restaurant, nestled in the heart of Seven Dials.
Mon Plaisir can best be described as quaint. It’s rather unassuming from the outside but you already get a taste of the warm atmosphere through the windows. And, once inside, you’re immediately transported to Paris circa 1889. Possibly. I wasn’t around in 1889. But it’s chic and classy and absolutely gorgeous, and I imagine all those things to have been pretty staple in 1889. Think lots of reds, lots of decorations, and gorgeous golden light. (Disclaimer: Creative embellishment. The restaurant was actually founded in 1943).
Fellow I Love Foodies writer Molly and I started the night with some bubbly – always mandatory for any classy setting – while surveying the menu. It’s a simple menu but offers (almost) everything you’d expect from a French restaurant. Plus, there is generally an assortment of special dishes that will leave your tastebuds excited – and keep you coming back for more, again and again and again.
A Taste of French
Asparagus & Beef Tartare
For starters, Molly opted for the Asparagus with Hazelnut Dressing and Fromage Blanc with Herbs (£9.75), which she thoroughly enjoyed. I went for the Hand-cut Beef Tartare (£10.00) – which is honestly one of the BEST beef tartares I have ever had. Of course, I always enjoy a good tartare and love the freshness of them, but this one was quite creamy, which I had never had before. But it was exquisite.
Salmon & Duck
For mains, Molly went for the Salmon with Pan-Fried Vegetables (part of the Pre-Theatre Menu at £18.95 for two courses). I opted for the Confit of Leg of Duck with Sarladaise Potatoes (part of the Seasonal Menu at £29.95 for three courses). Both of the dishes were fantastic. I didn’t try Molly’s dish but she absolutely loved it. And I equally loved my duck. When the portions first came out I thought they looked a little on the small side, but – in typical French style, it would seem – they were wonderfully filling and perfectly sized.
Creme Brulee & Apple Tart Tatin
So much so that we were already pretty full by the time the dessert menu came round … but who could resist a gorgeous French dessert? Certainly not the I Love Foodies team!!!!
Molly chose a classic favourite, the Creme Brûlée (£7.25), which looked phenomenal. I wanted to try something a little less familiar (to me, at least) and went for the Apple Tart Tartin (£7.95). It’s usually served with Vanilla Ice Cream but I substituted it for Apple Sorbet – one of my favourites.
I’ve had apple tart tatins a number of times before and have never been particularly impressed – but this one rocked my world. It was the perfect combination of tart (no pun intended) and sweet. A beautifully balanced dessert that I would go back for in a heartbeat.
Visit Mon Plaisir
I loved every second at Mon Plaisir – from the decor to the friendly staff to the exquisite food. This is one French restaurant that has certainly stood the test of time and will undoubtedly continue to do so. Even if you’re not a fan of French food or you don’t like Seven Dials or whatever excuse you might find, I’d urge you to go try Mon Plaisir. You certainly won’t regret it. Get all the details on them below.
Address: 19-21 Monmouth Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9DD
Call: +44 20 7836 7243
Article Date: November 2019
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