AD – This meal was complimentary in return for a review
It’s been a while since I have done a dedicated restaurant review post, but it’s been a while since I’ve been anywhere new and exciting enough to feature! Today’s post is quite exciting because it’s all about a very lovely independent restaurant in Stony Stratford, Milton Keynes that has definitely made a name for itself since it opened. I am
I was really impressed
French Affaire is situated in Odell’s Yard, just behind Stony Stratford high street. It’s a quiet spot and is in a solitary building (formerly home to Cameron’s Kitchen!) When we arrived, the exterior was draped in fairy lights making it look very magical indeed. I can’t wait for the summer; they have set up some seats outside which weren’t too appealing on a cold January night, but on a warm summer evening, it might just be my new favourite spot for sipping on cold G&Ts!
The interior of French Affaire is absolutely gorgeous and it’s definitely the prettiest restaurant in Milton Keynes. Think warm lighting, dusky pink seats, marble tables and botanical accents. All kinds of Instagram friendly.
I decided that now was as good a time as any to break my Dry January in favour of Ginuary, as French Affaire’s cocktail menu just looked TOO GOOD not to try! Dan held strong and had a cold ginger beer, I went for the rhubarb and custard cocktail – rhubarb gin is a favourite of mine! It had a generously sized cinnamon stick as a garnish which made it a definite winter warmer but did detract from the sweetness a little bit – more Christmas custard than rhubarb than I was expecting.
On first scanning the menu, the dishes struck me as decidedly French, which was good to see. There’s nothing more frustrating than a restaurant pitching itself serving a certain cuisine and providing weak adaptions of those dishes or making it too British. It’s not a lengthy menu – there are four dishes to choose from at the moment per course from homely classics like beef bourguignon to
To start, Dan chose the Foie Gras (£8) – duck liver pate on toasted brioche with balsamic caviar and a shallot confit on a little spoon. The pate was smooth and rich, with the balsamic providing a sharp contract. The confit was almost a chutney and added a nice bit of texture to the dish. This was perhaps a slightly pricier dish for what it was so I would perhaps recommend getting the canapé sharing platter (£6 per person for a range of canapés) if a small starter is your thing.
After wavering between the Fondue and the salmon cheesecake, I made a snap decision on the cheesecake. The “cheesecake”
For the main event, Dan settled for the Boeuf Bourguignon (£13), a rich, warming beef stew with shallots and mushrooms in a bed of mashed potato. It wasn’t the easiest dish to photograph, but I can assure you it tasted wonderful. The beef had obviously been slowly cooked which meant it melted in the mouth. The gravy was thick and delicious, and the mash was smooth and creamy. All in all, a very satisfying dish that was very well received on a cold winter night.
I opted for the ‘Loup de Mer’ (£13), a simple, fuss-free plate of sea bass, warm potato salad, baby carrots and tender stem broccoli. I always think fish is a great test as it is so easy to overcook. The sea bass fillet was in fact perfectly cooked. The skin was crispy but the fish was still moist, and although I thought I would have liked a sauce fish, it was cooked so that I didn’t actually miss the extra moisture. The potato salad was tasty, much like a chunky mash with leeks which gave it a hearty texture. It was overall a very nicely cooked and well-seasoned dish that was beautifully presented on a pink plate.
Now, as a French crepe restaurant, I had high hopes for dessert! Dan was intrigued by the apple
I chose Le Macaron (£6.50) which was an equally beautiful picture on a plate. A giant pink macaron with fresh raspberries and creme
I was really impressed with French Affaire’s evening menu. It’s well priced, it’s not over the top and the service is wonderfu. I think it is always difficult launching something new, and especially brave inviting someone to sample it on the soft launch, but I think with a little refinement this is a really great menu that brings something a little different to Milton Keynes. During the evening, I spoke to Razvan, the owner, and he has some exciting things planned for 2019, so watch this space!
French Affaire’s evening menu launches on Friday 24th January.
View menus and find more information on their website: www.french-affaire.co.uk
*This menu was from the soft launch and may differ slightly following the full launch tomorrow. The meal was complimentary for consideration for review – as