French food in Japan, French restaurant in the middle of nowhere on the ever busy route 2, why not?
I’ve driven in front of Chez Petit Lis a couple of time without even considering stopping there, it’s located between Fukuyama and Kurashiki on route 2. I’ll be honest, I had a difficult time imagining that a French restaurant could do business among the ramen and udon shop, but I guess I was proven wrong.
The restaurant only has a handful of tables and the staff consist of a waitress and a chef, that’s it. You can forget about a mad brigade, the skill of only one man is involve in this meal.
The appetizer was a crab mousse with a paprika sauce and salad. A very Japanese taste, but I can’t complain.
The soup came in a really cute Le Creuset little bowl. It was a hearty vegetable soup and probably my favourite since there was a roasted onigiri in it. That roasted onigiri was a touch of genius and I can’t want to introduce this to my next chicken soup. Sorry chef, I am stealing this for my own cooking experiments.
The main course was a choice of fish or beef cheek. I had the beef cheek and my wife took the fish. The main course was offered either with bread or rice. Like I said, this is not a French restaurant like you could find in Paris, more of an interpretation of a French restaurant Japanese style.
The beef cheek was served with a wine sauce and the meat was tender. The sauce was heavy on the wine. I don’t eat beef cheek often, but I am happy I ordered this.
My wife had a nice piece of sea bream, oyster and a scallop with a yuzu sauce. The fish was pan-fried and delicious with a nice crispy skin.
My only grievance was the fact they charged us an extra 100 yen for a piece of bread. The bread that came with the meal was delicious and when I asked for more bread, they charged. Might be a cultural difference, but I really hate being charge for bread.
The restaurant redeemed itself with the dessert. For an extra 500 yen they can super-size your dessert and it was worth every yen. The dessert plate was varied and each little portions were more delicious than the next.
Chez Petit Lis is an interesting restaurant with a cheap lunch menu but it lacks that little something that could make me a repeat customer. Try it for yourself if you ever drive between Fukuyama and Kurashiki. The chef does a great job when you consider that he is alone in the kitchen.