Recently Exmouth Market has welcomed a new restaurant: Café Pistou. I am always very happy when a French restaurant opens in London, as I am sometimes homesick especially for food.
Café Pistou is all about South of France, especially West with classic provencal dishes.

When my friend and I arrived at the restaurant, the team was very welcoming. I really liked the classic decoration with different chairs and the brick wall painted in a light green-turquoise colour.
We were seated on a small table by the window.
We started our meal with a plate of sliced Bayonne ham with Comté cheese to share with a glass of red wine. 'So French' you must think...YES but it is so good!
Sliced Bayonne ham with aged Comté cheese

The bread was very nice and served slightly warm, probably homemade. If not, it is a nice touch to warm it first (tastes better). My thoughts when I ate it was,that I would like to be able to find a baguette like this every morning at the corner of my street.
We shared one of the light bites: Barbajuans, dishes from Monaco which literally means uncle Jean. 
I am very easy to please when a dish involves goat's cheese. I love goat's cheese so much I often have some slices for breakfast too!
The dish was very nice, the wontons were crispy and tasted light considering they were deep fried. The sauce was very sweet with a little kick with pepper. It really goes well with the melted goat's cheese curd.
Barbajuans: deep-fried provençal 'wontons' with goat's cheese and honey pepper dip
Provençal Sheperd's pie made with ratatouille, feta cheese, Puy lentils, chickpea purée and spiced feuille de brick.

The Provençal Sheperd's pie dish was nicely presented, the ratatouille was topped with a spiced feuille de brick and served with chickpea purée. It was a good ratatouille. The feuille de brick added a crispy and spiced dimension to the dish. It was a good dish but I would have preferred it with more ratouille and less chickpea purée. I didn't think the chickpea bring something special to the dish.

Spatchcocked poussin seasoned with pickled lemons and raz-el- hanout. Served with a sweet & sour dried apricot & mint dressing.

The spatchcocked poussin was my far our favourite dish of the night. The chicken was moist and tender with crispy skin. Razz-el-hanout spice was well balanced with the yogurt sauce and the sweet and sour apricot. 

Chargrilled lamb cutlets pistou and sunblush tomatoes.

The lamb was well cooked, slightly pink. It was served with pistou sauce. The dish was nice but nothing special compare to the poussin.

The pistou: charcoal roast plums with blackcurrant, plum & olive oil sauce, vanilla mascarpone and blackcurrant sorbet. Served with a caramel & pine nut crisp and basil sugar.

Both desserts were very good and well executed. The pistou dessert was very refreshing and fruit was tart but sweet.
The creme brulée was very nice and had the perfect sugar caramelised on top.
Vanilla creme brulée

Overall my dinner at Café Pistou was really pleasant. Food was good. All the spice and ratatouille reminded me my holidays in Provence in the middle of the garrigue with cicadas sounds. Only disappointment was the way they organised the service. Food comes as soon as it is ready. I don't really like this concept as  you always end up with too much food on the table and most of it cools down. The lamb cooled down while I was eating the poussin... The experience would have been better if the service was a bit more slow. 
They recently opened so they are probably still trying to adjust to the rhythm of service and cooking, depending on the number of covers. 
Hopefully the service will be more organised for my next visit.

Café Pistou
8-10 Exmouth Market
London EC1R 4QA
Twitter: @Cafepistou
Square MealCafé Pistou on Urbanspoon

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