La Petite Maison | Perfectly executed Nicoise comfort food in H Queens
Oh La Petite Maison. Where do I even begin? I suppose my interest in this Nicoise restaurant (with sister locations in London, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Miami) started when I heard at least half a dozen people say they absolutely loved it. Such proclamations don’t always turn out to be accurate, but still I was curious about the cute little French restaurant in the new (well, I guess not so new now) H Queens building.
If you’re on QRC, then you’ll be able to see the the restaurant’s charming logo on what looks like the second floor, above the MLB store. But the main entrance is right on Stanley Street where guests walk past a mini patio into what I consider to be a super chic little oasis in the heart of Central. My friend and I went for lunch and boy is the space gorgeous when lit up by daylight.
Personally, I love the quirky-chic vibe with pistachio-coloured banquettes, tongue-in-chic art and handsome waitstaff. When we sat down in our corner booth, my friend, who’d been once before, informed me that the tomatoes, lemon and olive oil sitting on our table weren’t just for decoration but to be eaten! What an interesting (and delicious) concept.
While they do have a set lunch menu, we opted to go a la carte. Sometimes I’m on the fence about this because ordering a la carte can come up to the same price or more as ordering the sets which seem to give more food. But I think in general, ordering a la carte is safer as you’re guaranteed to get the food you want at regular portion sizes.
After the complimentary bread (perfect), we started with the Burrata et Tomates. While it might look and sound like a simple dish, each element was out of this world. The burrata was perfectly fresh and so milky/ creamy, the Datterini tomatoes were like candy, and the basil added bitterness, that something extra. A must-order.
The Crevettes Tiedes a L’huile D’Olive, or warm prawns with olive oil, were much talked about. This dish was lovely, especially when eaten with some bread, though personally I didn’t find it particularly memorable.
Same goes for the Salade de Haricots Verts au Foie Gras. Given we’d chosen a heavier main, it was necessary to get some veg in. Unfortunately I couldn’t really detect the foie in this dish and thought the overall taste was just OK.
Onto the heavier main… the wonderful Coquelet au Citron Confit. I mean we’ve all had roast chicken before, right? How out of this world could a roast chicken be? This one came butterflied and marinated in lemon. The meat cut like butter and the flavour of the meat was pretty saturated with the marinade and a spice rub, making each bite sweet-ish, salty-ish, spicey-ish and totally addictive. I can’t think of a single way to improve this dish.
Our server recommended the Gratin Dauphinois to accompany the chicken. I should have taken more pictures of the potatoes but I figured, potatoes gratin, another familiar dish. But I was wrong. The potatoes here were sliced paper-thin and the sauce was airy yet so rich and buttery. A standout and absolutely perfect with the lemon chicken.
Overall, I absolutely loved La Petite Maison with an intensity that I haven’t felt about a new opening recently! What was good was really, really good and I’d love to go back again. Prices are definitely on the high side but in this case you get what you pay for (roughly $500 per person). And I’m definitely willing to pull out my wallet again for that burrata, lemon chicken, and potatoes au gratin.
Shop 1, H Queen's, 23-29, 1/F Stanley St, Central, 2887 1113
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