Le Soufflé - blown out by the blown up dishes!

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Unsurprisingly given its name, Le Soufflé specialises in soufflé, in such a way that it is possible to order one for each course and dine entirely on, well, soufflés. Mildly apprehensive of such an undertaking, I persuaded a friend to aid me in the task of eating three soufflés in one sitting.

If soufflés aren’t your thing, the menu does offer various other fairly standard dishes, but we decided to go for the full experience and ordered one “menu” (€37 for three courses) and an additional soufflé based main (a main course soufflé ranges from €14-19 when ordered alone) to share between the two of us. And I must say, this was a wise choice as it was a struggle to manage all of it, despite sharing the starter and dessert.

The flavours are varied, everything from roquefort and caramelised pear to foie gras and fig jam appears on the savoury soufflé menu. We ordered to start, a smoked haddock and artichoke small soufflé with a side salad, then a pike fish soufflé with crayfish sauce for me and a beef bourguignon soufflé for my friend and a “marquise” soufflé to finish. We were asked to order our dessert at the start, I assume to make sure all the timings were spot on.

My friend was somewhat uneasy about the prospect of a smoked haddock soufflé, but I found it delicious. The combination of the light and airy soufflé with the quite strong taste of smoked fish and artichoke worked wonderfully. The “small” size was good too and I think the whole meal would have been more manageable had they all been of the same size.

The mains came as a solitary and rather large soufflé with a jug of sauce, beef bourguignon in one and crayfish sauce in the other, and no other trimmings. For us it was a bit much, it being at least double the size of the first and I did not feel was as nice. The structural integrity of the soufflés were definitely not at fault, but I preferred the smoked haddock by far.

For me however, the highlight was dessert. The marquise is a dark chocolate and rum affair, quite rich and boozy, oozing the right about of chocolate and rum and absolutely delicious. But impossible to finish, a fact that somewhat saddened me.

We enjoyed the experience, but I would not go back. If you are looking for something a bit unusual perhaps it is worth a visit, but attempting all three courses is a feat. I would be quite tempted to return for the marquise alone, however.

It is worth noting their longer lunchtime hours in case you are looking for a late afternoon lunch, still a rare occurrence in Paris.

Address: 36 Rue du Mont Thabor, 75001 Paris

Metro: M1, Concorde

Phone: 01 42 60 27 19

Open: Monday to Saturday, 12:00 to 16:15 and 19:00 to 22:00

Website: http://www.lesouffle.fr/

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