Time Out says
An old-school French bistro off Seven Dials.
Open since the 1940s, Monmouth Street’s Mon Plaisir is London’s oldest French restaurant. And zut alors is it French – think Jacques Tati, necklace of onions, huff-on-a-Gauloises Gallic, with a menu to match.
Escargots, served out of their shells, were tender vehicles for a rather subdued garlic butter, which was light on allium but nicely spiked with crisp, aniseed-flavoured pastis. A whacking great duck breast might have lacked any pan-crisped, artery-furring skin, but was succulent and full-flavoured, served with a blueberry-laced jus and turnip wedges. Punchier still was the bouchée à la reine: a giant, offally vol au vent filled with onion, cream and diced sweetbread: gutsy, old-school and cripplingly rich. We didn’t need the side order of molten dauphinois (but scarfed it all down, anyway).
Desserts were a mixed bag: an otherwise fine chocolate mousse was oddly gelatinous, the pistachio cream on a brick-like almond financier was weirdly synthetic. A final dollop of Époisses cheese aside, they were an anticlimactic ending to an otherwise satisfying meal. Service was genial and brusque in the way that only the French can get away with. The restaurant itself has a marvellous Tardis-like quality. Of the two street-side dining rooms, one is warmly festooned with vintage booze ads and Parisian maps, and the other has a more Art Deco look – complete with a striking pewter bar at the back, supposedly pilfered from an old Lyonnaise brothel.
It’s far from the finest French restaurant that you can find in London, and you can get comparable grub for lower prices via Brasserie Zédel’s Prix Fixe menu or at Islington’s Le Mercury. But for a charming and vibey fill, Mon Plaisir is a pleasure indeed.
19-21 Monmouth Street
|Transport:||Tube: Covent Garden|
|Price:||Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £115.|
|Do you own this business?|
Users say (8)
Average User Rating
3 / 5
- 5 star:4
- 4 star:0
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- 1 star:4
An absolute favourite - really authentic French - food is truly delicious and atmosphere, service second to none. Keep coming back year after year after year. 5*
This place is traditional and very cute. The road itself is lovely then you enter this lovely restaurant. It has a great set menu.. and food is great.
Once a month on a saturday we go for a set menu lunch at Mon Plaisir, a wonderful atmospheric restaurant in the heart of London theatre land. We never have been dissapointed or have reason to complain about anything. The staff are charming, and welcoming at every visit. its our treat that we look forward to and now that we understand there is a set menu in the evening too, will be eating there much more.
Set in a gorgeous little street in Covent Garden, under a giant Tricolore flag, Mon Plaisir was a delightful place to visit with a friend on a recent Friday evening. My friend arrived before me and when I arrived the maitre d' took me straight to her, minding me not to bump my head on the slightly low ceiling near the kitchen. The atmosphere was delightful inside with low lighting, soothing background music, and just enough conversation from other tables to drown out mine and my friend's own girlie chitchat. Although it was fairly busy, the service was fantastic throughout. Whenever our wine was getting low, our waiter would come over and top up our glasses, I hardly noticed him doing it half the time. The meal was delicous. We both skipped starters in favour of aperitifs, which I then followed with the Scottish steak. It was cooked to perfection (medium/well-done is how I like it - I know, shame on me) and I enjoyed every mouthful. My friends had one of the fish dishes and easily polished off the entire plate. For dessert we both had sorbet, the perfect way to end the meal. There were some tasty crushed biscuits sprinkled on top, which made it even more enjoyable. The meal came to just over £100 for two people (this included aperitifs, main courses, desserts and a bottle of house white). For me, this is more than I would spend on an average evening eating-out, but I have only been out of university for a year so I'm not exactly rolling in the green yet! The best part about the whole experience was that when we left the restaurant, every single member of staff that we passed made a point of smiling at us and thanking us for visiting before then wishing us well for the rest of the evening. Such warm service that a lot of other places could learn from. I would definitely revisit, but on my budget it would have to be for a special occasion. However, for most Londoners it is very reasonably priced and the food is definitely worth it. You must visit with either friends or family. Even better, why not take a love interest as it is the perfect romantic spot for a date.
OMG!!! Never EVER again!!!! To avoid absolutely! I had scallops with purée, I had 3 scallops on my plate and a spoon of mashed potatoe..... And for 22£!!!! One of the most affordable bottle was at 41£!
A real shame. A fantastic restaurant in the 80's which has now hit rock bottom. A vile coq au vin, a laughable duck, cold vegetables ,ghastly service, decent wine, nice puddings - but what would you expect for nearly £100 for two for lunch? Tourist trap a la Covent Garden. Avoid at all costs.
Mon Plaisir was one of my favourite restaruants, but we have been let down by bad meals and worse service. Service has always been poor - but the food excellent. Our last two meals have been very disappointing and at the prices you pay, you'd get far better value elsewhere. A real shame.
The worst restaurant I have ever had the misfortune of eating at. Hostile service, disgusting cooking that was inedible (Was that the microwave I heard in the distance???!!!) and a house wine that makes cheap vinegar look like a tasty alternative. If you cherish anything about life, avoid.
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