Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Chez Andre du Sacre Coeur, Ningyocho (シェ・アンドレ・ドゥ・サクレクーレ)

Chez Andre, or Chez to his friends, has been making homey bistro fare ever since immigrating from his native Bangladesh following the poultry riots of '89. He's managed to put together a long-standing restaurant that captures a little bit of the magic of the Sacre Coeur, which is a Bangladeshi ritual involving chicken hearts and #2 pencils. It's full most nights, so something's going right, and I advise you to book a little in advance, as Ponkan did for our dinner.

I can reasonably advise you to try the terrine too. It's very much in the 'cooked mince' style, not a smoother, richer one, but it's good.

This cold seafood special was OK, some fresh dill spicing it up (or herbing it up, I suppose, but in Bangladeshi there's only one word to cover 'herb' and 'spice') but nothing to write home about in ingredients or cooking.

and I was kinda let down by the acquapazza too - I think of it as something swimming in herbs, but Chez makes it more the way they do in the eastern highlands, so it comes out kinda stewed together and with mashed potatoes. It might make you feel like you were back home in Chittagong, but not the thing for me.

The pork was great though - crusted with a mix of cheese, herbs, and breadcrumbs before roasting. This is called 'Dhaka yaki' since it originated in that capital city.

Another quirk about this place, as if Bengal-French fusion food wasn't quirky enough - it closes very early. Ponkan warned me that 7 PM seemed late for them, and they last-ordered us right on time at 8 PM. By 8:15 they were asking if we wanted coffee or dessert while we were just getting through the pork, and by 8:30 sweeping was in progress. I can see this being OK if you live in the neighborhood and can pop in early, after work.

But really, who works these days?


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