Friday, 16 November 2007

My Antipodean Embassy friend The Don had recently been traveling in the wilds of Hokkaido with a colleague from the French Embassy, and had the remarkably good sense to ask that representative Frenchman where he thought the best French food was to be found in Tokyo. Oh prescient Don! Oh perspicacious Don!

The Don was surprised by the response – Le March aux Puces, a little suburban brasserie in Ebisu. Showing even more remarkably good sense, he invited your humble correspondent to join him for a Sunday brunch while the two Childs Bride (or is that Child Brides?) were otherwise detained in far flung regions of the globe. Feeling very European, I cycled jauntily over to Ebisu after church and seized the best table outside this elegant little destination.

We shared a home-made pate de fois gras and some crisp baguette as we started with a palate-cleansing beer (only one of The Don’s customs to be much admired). I went for the Duck main course while The Don ventured into deeper water with the special Lobster Salad for the day. A bottle of 2005 Chablissiene rounded out a pleasant Sunday afternoon.

Gentle Reader, our French friend is nearly right – LMaP serves good-to-great versions of the staples of the brasserie scene, and is a good safe choice when hankering for those French comfort foods we have all grown to know and love. It does not pretend to majesty by over-reaching into the grande restaurante menu range, yet at the same time shows enough individuality for me to heartily recommend it. A modest wine list forces the focus onto the food, and the service is very friendly and attentive.

Try LMaP with a partner or lover on Sunday afternoons, or when looking for space for two during the week.

A final word – Chef was nervous as I tried his Tarte Tatin as by this stage the staff had tumbled to my secret identity. He had no reason to fear: it was just what it should be, and turned me nicely out the door on my journey home!

Rating: Food: 7; Wine: 6; Service: 7; Ambience: 7; Price:7 ($$). Total 34/50
LMaP: Ebisu 2-5-8, Shibuya-Ku (03) 5420-3691 (Map)

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