No need to consider taking the Eurostar any longer to go to a bistro-type restaurant in Paris. There is one right up your street, though it took me a year to find it!
Located at the crossroads of bohemian Stokey and hipster Dalston, Oui Madame is owned by Jérôme Pigeon and Rosane Mazzer, the once married Franco-Brazilian couple who founded the Favela Chic restaurants in Paris and London.
On arrival, we found our bearings with a couple of Oui Madame Cocktails, made from gin, elderflower, lemon, grenadine and raspberries. To complement the creamy texture and frothy top (the result of the egg white) Pigeon sprayed them with absinthe using a vintage bulb spray bottle. They smelt a treat and had a really nice kick to them.
The steak tartare we had for starters was a cute-looking dish, displayed as four raw canapés on a plate. We indulged ourselves with the four corresponding eggs yolk, but were disappointed by the foie gras which looked and tasted more like a terrine.
Being meat lovers, we both had the steak cooked medium rare to perfection. It came with a gratin dauphinois, which for me was lack-lustre (I am a fierce critic of the dauphinois since no one could possibly beat my mum’s recipe!) though my dining partner had no qualms with it.
Other than food, art is what brought Pigeon and Mazzer to Hackney. The restaurant hosts live performances in basement space ‘La Culotte’ (‘The Knickers’) on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
It’s a chilled atmosphere in the restaurant before 9pm and fairly revelrous afterwards. With artists and performers invited to test their shows in front of an audience, I for one can’t wait to enjoy some of the fun and unique nights to come… oh que oui!
Oui Madame, 182 Stoke Newington Road, N16 7UY