They say you can tell the quality of a Chinese restaurant in Scotland if it attracts a lot of Chinese customers.
Well operating on that basis, I was encouraged to walk into one of Dundee’s newest restaurants – the French bistro Café Montmartre on the Perth Rd – to see a table full of French diners.
We had actually planned on going along for their light bites menu, which includes such delights as a Steak Baguette and a Spinach and Gruyère filled crepe, but as it’s Sunday they had their set menu on instead.
So it turned into a bigger lunch than anticipated.
Was it any good though?
Café Montmartre Review: The Restaurant
As you would expect from a newly opened restaurant, Café Montmartre looked spotless. It has a reasonably formal look, while maintaining a certain cosines. As you might expect, pictures of Paris and other typical French things decorate the wall.
Most importantly though, there was plenty of room between tables and the chairs were comfortable.
Café Montmartre Review: The Food
The Sunday set menu offered a reasonable amount of choice, with five starters, five main courses and four desserts to choose from, along with some daily specials.
I chose to go with the Tarte aux Epinards (Goats Cheese & Spinach Tart) for a starter and the Jarret de Porc aux Pommes (Slow cooked pork shank with rosemary, apple & cider, in cream sauce) for main, while Mhairi elected for the Soup of the Moment (Cream of Pea Soup) to begin with, followed by Pappardelle aux Aubergines (Pasta with Aubergines in a tomato sauce).
The quality of the food was sensational. As you can see by the pictures, the presentation was excellent but it was the taste that set it apart. The richness and depth of flavours – which might be too much for some people but absolutely hit the spot for us – exceeded any meal from any restaurant food I’ve had in a long, long time.
The Tarte aux Epinards in particular will have me drooling for a while to come yet.
Having also dipped a bit of bread into Mhairi’s soup (I know, I know, what an animal I am, eh?) I can also verify that it was also joyous, which is a surprise considering it sounded like it would be quite bland.
By the time we finished our main courses – and by the way, the pork just fell off the bone, which is exactly what you want – neither of us could even consider a dessert. As Mhairi put it “I’m so full, but don’t want to stop eating”. I was in full agreement.
The only thing I would mark the main course down for was that the Dauphinoise potatoes my pork came with was slightly peppery for my taste, but that’s a very minor issue.
Café Montmartre Review: The Drink
This is the one aspect of the meal that was a let-down. Neither of us drink alcohol so we stick to the softer stuff and in this case both asked for a lemonade.
We were presented with the tiniest bottles of Schweppes lemonade imaginable, at room temperature.
Suspecting that they were probably not going to be cheap – and at £2.45 each we were right – we both felt as though we had to make them last.
I suppose we could have asked for some water, but still, I do expect more bang for my buck when it comes to drink.
Café Montmartre Review: The Vegetarian Viewpoint
For all you carrot munchers out there, the verdict was that the set menu offered plenty of vegetarian choice (three out of five dishes were suitable for your dietary needs) and though there was only one main course option, one from five seems a reasonable trade-off.
And it went down a treat.
Café Montmartre Review: The Price
The set menu offered two courses for £17.95 or three for £20.95.
All in – including drinks – it cost £40.80.
We left there just as full as we did Sol Y Sombra for £10 less.
While the drinks may not have offered value, for the quality of that meal, we were more than happy.
And neither of us really ate again for the whole day.
Café Montmartre Review: Final Thoughts
Nicely decorated, excellent food and – and I’ve yet to mention this but feel I have to – a very polite and friendly proprietor result in Café Montmartre being another top class dining establishment in Dundee.
We’ll definitely go back.