Pastis Chez Francoise

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7 reviews
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128 Victoria Street West,
Auckland Central

(09) 379 3286

The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byBrett Atkinson23/07/2007

4 out of 5

It's a chilly and raining Saturday, and with a couple of hours to fill between Film Festival movies, we change our normal practice of heading to Borders to read guidebooks to countries we may never go to. Instead we head to the newly opened Pastis, and it's the ideal antidote to both the icy weather and our perpetual wanderlust.

Pastis occupies the corner of Victoria St and Nelson St and used to be called Praxis. Kind of a similar name, but actually very different. Pastis is an authentic French neighbourhood bistro owned by the team from Bouchon crêperie in Kingsland. Crêpes and gallettes (savoury crêpes) are on offer at Pastis, but the menu also includes French classics like croque monsieur and croque madame sandwiches, escargots (snails) and French onion soup. On one of those rare Auckland days that deserves to be called winter, it's the perfect ticket.

We start with a glass each of pastis, the robust aniseed aperitif that's designed to kick start your taste buds. It works and we're soon eagerly awaiting our mains. My Steak Frites is an excellent example of one of the most straightforward of French meals. A tender piece of sirloin is partnered with shoestring fries that are perfectly crisp on the outside. Off the blackboard specials menu, Carol's pork chop with garlic mash and mustard is slightly less traditional, but still undeniably French with Dijon mustard and a vampire-crushing dose of the stinking rose.

Midway through our mains, Pastis is starting to fill up nicely. A table of French expats beside us are into a second bottle from the essentially French winelist, (there are a few Vins Neo-Zelandais if you're really parochial), and groups have arrived to prepare for the All Blacks game happening across town. The sole waiter (French of course) is doing a good job, but knocks the ball on when my Kronenbourg beer fails to arrive. It's a minor infringement though easily overcome by his friendly persona.

We're counting down to movie number two sooner than we like (Pastis is definitely a restaurant to linger in), so share a crème brulée for dessert. Again it's simple French perfection with the crunchy caramelised crust giving way to creamy richness inside. The French chef can probably cook most of the traditional menu with his eyes closed, but the food at Pastis never strays into mediocrity. And at $80 for two aperitifs, a glass of wine, a beer, two mains and a dessert it's also good value.

Pastis is also a bar and on Friday nights features live French music. See you there once this movie marathon is over.

Does this review have you salivating? You can now make a reservation here!

Pastis Chez Francoise has been reviewed by 7 users

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