Shoegarfreeruby and I promised we’ll treat ourselves when our June payday comes. We had the grand (bonggang-bongga!) plan of eating in a restaurant that originated in Paris where others have to line up for hours. Surely, like us, you’d be dying to eat in Le Relais de L’Enrecote. Say wut?! I have to admit I can’t pronounce that. I tried a few times until I had to ask the waiter already. Lol. What I can pronounce, and happily too, is the star of this resto’s menu. Actually, the ONLY thing in their menu — steak-frites. Come again? Steak and fries.
Le Relais de L’Enrecote is known for their steak and fries and that alone. You’d be surprised they’re quite famous for it too so dining in here is such an experience we’d be willing to line up for it if needed. Thankfully, all we needed to do is call for a reservation.
|The facade is posh and elegant. Blink and you might miss the cursive sign.|
R and I spent a few minutes waiting outside the restaurant along Tahlia, just a few steps away from Chili’s, because the prayer was still on-going when we arrived (excited kasi!). We thought we had to fight our way in and we were ready just in case people are already blocking our path. Lol. It wasn’t necessary because the only table occupied was one. It became two when we took our seats. Good thing we picked the after maghreb prayer schedule because the place is jampacked after 8:00pm.
|Branches of L’Entrecote worldwide have the same look and ambiance.|
We thought we had to act all formal and sosyal (in fairness, I even wore my best abaya for this!) but the bistro is so simple yet elegant it’s nearly a sin to act pa-sosyal pa. Of course, there’s no need to peruse a menu as there’s none. We were immediately asked how we wanted our steak done. “Oh medium-well monsieur! Merci!” (Testing lang. :P)
They served us a simple salad first. It was so basic it only had lettuce and pieces of walnuts on it drizzled with their signature dressing.
The only thing I can remember about it is that it was too salty. The mustard dressing was a little bit bitter too. I’m not big on green stuff so I munched them lazily. There was bread too but I hardly glanced at it; just took a photo.
I was excited to begin my steak! Good thing, we didn’t have to wait long for it. I wasn’t really looking for anything fancy but I was still surprised when they placed an ordinary-looking plate in front of me filled with thin fries and a few cuts of meat. R and I were glancing at each other and asking, “this is it?!”
|This is it!|
I ignored the fries first and went straight to my steak. I sliced a piece and pierced it with my fork (I think I’m holding my breath while doing this). I put the piece of meat in my mouth… there were no fireworks, I tell you. There was no shout of pure ecstasy (I’m still talking about food). There was no “Eureka!” moment. I only managed to chew and chew, quietly savoring the succulent meat; its mild flavor swirling in my tongue spreading a unique flavor ingrained in my taste buds forever but can’t describe with words now.
It wasn’t anything spectacular… It was amazing in its simplicity. The meat was tender and the sauce was mild and not overpowering. Although I wasn’t really impressed with the sauce. I initially thought it was good of epic proportions because it was a heavily-guarded secret! (O diba?!) Is it because I’m not French and not used to this kind of steak sauce? I dunno. The golden fries, which I ignored for a few minutes, came to focus when I popped a string in my mouth. The crispiness felt wonderful and right. I began eating the meat with a couple of fries and the combo was perfect!
Of course, I was already thinking the fries, even if it resembles a hill on my plate, and the slivers of meat, were not worthy of their SR125 price tag. (I completely forgot about the disappointing salad by now. Did I mention that here?! Really?) Alas, we were not yet finished. There was a second serving of fries and steak. I was already full when I wiped out my first serving but I kept on eating because the steak-frites is really good and not at all cloying!
A menu is only available for the desserts. Because we’re delirious and can’t quite think for ourselves after the main meal, we asked the waiter to choose for us among their highly-recommended desserts. A tower of meringue and ice cream were put in front of us and it was a wonderful sight.
|How sinful is this?! Vacherin, SR38|
The Le Vacherin de Relais interweaves different textures from crisp, coarse, smooth, silky, soft in the layers but the taste is just one – sweet. I’m not exactly raving about this dessert.
Of course this meal is best enjoyed with wine the Le Relais de L’Enrecote in France is known for but should we even dare bring this up? Soooo…
Are we recommending you try Le Relaise despite of its hefty price tag and loner dish? Of course! You only live once right? And it’s not every day you get to eat the steak-frites the world is lining up for. This can earn you bragging rights too… only if you know how to properly pronounce the name though. 🙂
Almas Plaza, Thalia Street
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia