Pastis, a Parisian-style bar and restaurants where the French staff serves you authentic French food and imported French wine in a beautiful French accent. We arrived on a Thursday night to a full dining room and a lovely lady playing the accordion inside. The restaurant had a great lively atmosphere and a cosy interior. As it was quite a busy night, we had to wait at the bar for our table. But the staff were efficient and we were seated not long after.

I really enjoy authentic French cuisine and would always order escargots if it is available on the menu. Pastis’ escargots served with garlic butter and a side of bread were delicious. We ordered a dozen as an entree and the side of bread was perfect as we soaked the remaining butter from the dish. The escargots were not over cooked and hence not tough or chewy. A great start to our meal.

For mains, we opted for something different and decided not to get the regular steak fillet. I ordered the seafood vol au vent which is a hollow case of puff pastry with a seafood filling. This was served with a balsamic vinegar-dressed salad. The mixture of prawns, scallops, mussels, cockles and squid surprisingly, did not make the pastry soggy. It was a decently sized portion and the salad was a nice contrast to the rich filling. My partner decided to try the traditional French bean stew served with sausages, pork belly and duck confit. A hearty dish with ALOT of meat that was not too savory or rich. Overall, a great dish but I didn’t like the tacky paprika dusting on the plate.

Dinner would not be complete without dessert. We order the special which is a trio of small desserts. The caramelised apple crepe was not up to scratch as the apple filling was too sweet. The vanilla creme brulee and the nougat ice cream however, were phenomenal. They were not overly sweet and the crispy sugar crust on the brulee was perfect. Surprisingly, this trio cost the same as a regular dessert and we were glad we chose this one.

Without a doubt, I would come back to Pastis (especially when I am craving escargots). The environment was cosy and not uptight and the food was amazing. If you stay till later in the night, you might hear some tipsy diners in suits singing along to the accordion. They are open for lunch and dinner and would be a good venue for business lunch. They also offer a small bar menu if you are only after a snack and a nice glass of French wine.

Date: Thursday 1st September, 2011 | Location: 128 Victoria Street, Auckland CBD | Food: French


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