12, rue du Renard 75004 Paris
tele: 01-42-71-86 27http://www.gogoparis.com/2010/05/23/le-renard-restaurant-karaoke/
The Gang Victor describing the dishes------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rating Standards: 4-Stars = Extraordinary; 3-Stars = Excellent; 2-Stars = Good; 1-Star = Fair; NO stars = Poor
€ = Inexpensive: 30€ and under; €€ = Moderate: 31€-49€; €€€ = Expensive: €50-75; €€€€ = Very Expensive: more than €76 (prices based on minimum 2-courses)
1-Bell = Pleasantly quiet (less than 65 decibels); 2-Bells = Can talk easily (65-70); 3-Bells = Talking normally gets difficult (70-75); 4-Bells = Can talk only in raised voices (75-80); BOMB = Too noisy for normal conversation (80+)
The same owners of The Buddha Bar in Paris, came in and restored a beautiful old theater called, Le Renard, which means the fox. My good friend Victor Magsaysay, told me back in April that he was hired to be the head Chef. I was really excited for him, and he wanted know if I could help him develop the menu. Keep in mind, at this time, the restaurant renovations weren't even half complete, it was completely gutted and there was no kitchen. But we went ahead and came up with some really neat southeast asian dishes. Then I recommended we also pull someone else into our brainstorming group, our mutual friend Zabie, since she's owned several restaurants throughout the US, and could provide a world of knowledge that neither Victor nor I have. So, after brainstorming for 2-days and through test kitchens, Victor was able to develop some really incredible dishes, which you will read about later.
It is a Resto/Bar/Karaoke Bar. The decor is black and sleek, very modern. with standard sized tables for eating, taller tables for drinking and being able to the see the stage better, as well as booths and lounge areas. Net-net there's a chair to meet anyone's preference.
Picture of the stage for karaoke, flanked by dining tables
The bar was quite impressive. They had an American style bar featuring all the cocktails we have back home, including" American Martini's", real mojitos, manhattan's, you name them, they have them. Cocktails are not as popular as say wines, but it's starting to show up more and more at younger venues like Le Renard. Be forewarn, they're not cheap and can run you an average of 10€ to 20€.
Cynthia had the house drink. I wish I could remember what it was, it was quite complicated for me to remember. She said it was delicious.
Mehran, Jack, Darrell, and I had the martini blanco over ice. This is the drink that many French confuse with the American style Martini. It's like a sweet vermouth served over ice. It was served in a tall class with a slice of lemon. Nothing spectacular, but it's refreshing.
Joël was finally able to order and get a real American vodka martini, up. So he was pretty happy camper.
For our amuse bouche we had an interesting pairing. A lychee stuffed with a cashew and blue cheese. At first thought, you think it's a strange combination, but it was actually quite delicious. the juxtaposition of the sweet (lychee), the salty (blue cheese) and the nutty (cashews) made quite an interestingly good first start.
Surprisingly none of us wanted an entrée, most of us had eaten a late lunch, and we arrived at the restaurant at 9 pm. So we decided to go for the Plats + desserts. And, we ordered a nice light pinot noir which went well with all our dishes.
The entrées ranged from 11€ to 15€. For our plates, they ranged from 16€ to 28€. The food focuses on the cuisines of southeast Asian, in particular the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand.
By the way, the menu is in Franglish, part French part English.
Red Duck Curry. Before I ordered this dish, the waitress said, be forewarned it's spicy. And, I told her I can handle spicy. It was mild for my taste, but I'm pretty sure Victor toned it down for the French. It's a delicious dish, but more heat could have been incorporated. It was a dish juxtaposed with sweet, salt, sour and savory, what a southeast asian meal should be all about it. I loved this dish.
Joël had the Pad Thai with the langostines. Nice dish, very well balances, and Joël loved it. Great a second hit of the evening.
Jack got the Green Chicken Curry. Now Jack is very, very familiar with Southeast asian cuisine, I guess from being around me. And, I truly trust his judgment on any asian dish, and he holds no punches if he doesn't like a dish. He LOVED this dish. The tender chicken accompanied with the curry basil and baby asian eggplants were just a fabulous combination.
Darrell and Mehran had the Coquille St. Jacques with crispy noodles. This is a take on a Singaporean noodle dish. It was quite tasty, but be forewarned you need to break up the noodles with a knife and fork since it's pan fried into a disk. According to the 2, the scallops were cooked perfectly.
Le tigre qui pleure. Cynthia had this dish which is thin sliced beef with a dipping sauce of fish sauce, lime, chilis and spices. It was delicious.
Before ordering our desserts, Victor brought out a dish of young julienned mango with duck and garnished with peanuts that we all shared. We loved this dish.
At about 11 pm, the Karaoke is about to commence. The Pianist, I'm told is a pianist at the George V. So, they warmed up the crowd a little bit before handing out sheets of paper of music that they can play and you can sing. And, in front of the stage, there is a screen where you have the words to the song.
As we were getting ready to leave, I ran into Catherine, who I met at a previous event, and who had sang tonight. She has a beautiful voice.
Joël, Catherine, and Jack
Catherine did a fantastic job singing Edith Piaf's "La Vie en Rose"
In summary, this is quite a lovely place, very modern, very sleek, very hip and since it's just newly opened my guess is it will become the new hot trendy place to see and be seen. So, I'm glad I went when I did, because #1 I'm not hip and can pretty much fade into the back ground. Right now they serve dinners, but as they develop they will be starting an Asian tapas to satisfy the late night crowds coming in from the discos (Le Renard closes at 4.am); there are several dance clubs throughout that area. Location is very central so that makes it easy to get to.
The food is exceptionally good. Victor has had to tone down some of the more "spicier" foods, but he did not compromise on the taste. As for the karaoke bar, I think it's great. It's allowing the French to naturally let their hair down. Granted the foreigners had no problems, but the French I found were still quite reserved. So, if you're in that neck of the woods, I highly recommend you stop in for a drink, listen to some music, and also get something to eat. KUDOS to Victor for transforming a menu concept into reality.