Redefined fine French cuisine in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower
Chef Pascal Barbot followed an interesting career path before opening his tiny Paris restaurant, which is widely fêted for redefining French fine dining. A five-year stint working under Alain Passard at L’Arpège in Paris was sandwiched between time spent travelling the South Pacific as a chef with the French Navy and heading up the Ampersand restaurant in Sydney. The experiences have clearly informed his approach at L’Astrance, which combines French haute-cuisine with exotic ingredients from the Far East. Cream and butter are used sparingly, while lemon grass, jasmine and daikon are staples of the kitchen.
There is no menu as such; rather diners choose the number of courses they want and leave the rest to Barbot and his team, who send out a succession of ‘surprise’ dishes. Expect a signature dish of layered foie gras with raw button mushrooms, hazelnut oil and lemon confit or miso-marinated mackerel, sprinkled with toasted buckwheat and served with baby leek and confit lemon.
The chef’s modern cooking style is complemented by the chic two-level dining room with lemon yellow leather seats and an all-embracing wine list that ranges from France’s top châteaux to more unusual natural wines.