Living near Broadway market I have always had my eye on La Vie en Rose, the quaint French restaurant situated on the corner of Broadway market at the Regent Canal end. The menu always looks interesting and it is normally packed. And so with most of the restaurants near me closed between Christmas and New Year, I decided to give it a shot.
The decor is that of a small Parisian cafe/neighbourhood restaurant. The staff were very welcoming- indeed they were probably the highlight of the evening
We had the charcuterie to share for starters. Unfortunately, given the quality of French cured meats and saucisson on offer on Broadway Market on a Saturday, the charcuterie was a selection of pre-sliced meats including Parma ham (hardly French!) - if I had to guess I would think it came straight out of a supermarket packet. This was served with pickled apple, which was overpowered with cinnamon.
For main I went for the pork fillet with potato and turnip gratin. This could have been good, the combination should have worked, but unfortunately it was not. The flavours were okay but the pork was dry, the gratin sloppy.
LJC had the pheasant breast with wild mushrooms. As will be evident from the picture below, the pheasant had been severely overcooked. Burnt on one side, dry throughout. Again the flavours in this dish were okay, but when it came to the pheasant, the cooking went clearly awry.
The menu at La Vie en Rose is always intelligently formed, the ingredients are interesting and well-matched. The place is also more often than not very busy. Both of which leads me to suspect that, given it was just after Christmas when I visited, the usual chef must not have been cooking. However, given how far from the mark the food was, this is no excuse.
Update: La Vie en Rose closed in January 2012.