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A long-established love letter to the soufflé.
While Paris has been losing its mind over haut-gamme paninis, vegan pizza and sushi burritos, one institution has been quietly ticking along, oblivious to the sands of time. Tucked behind Jardin des Tuileries, Le Soufflé has been serving all manner of sweet and savoury soufflés since 1961. A beloved component of sixties dinner parties, these airy beauties are notoriously hard to make – but with over fifty years in the business, this establishment has reached levels of soufflé wizardry.
The décor is nothing special: egg-related art on the walls, pale wood, starched white tablecloths and yellowy lighting – it’s appropriately old-school, like the menu. Among the multitude of soufflés are a few fish and meat dishes. But ordering anything but soufflé at Le Soufflé is like ordering a salad in McDonald’s. Just don’t do it. Cooked but still creamy, vast yet light enough to manage three consecutively, the soufflés are all heavily French-accented (think foie gras, beef bourguignon and cheese – lots of cheese). With a gravy boat of chunky chicken and mushroom sauce alongside, the Henri IV is soul-warming comfort food, while the caramelised pear and blue cheese is delicate, perfectly balanced and a must for any cheese addict.
Overwhelmed by the dessert options, we chose the simplest (on the waiter’s recommendation) – dusted with icing sugar, the chocolate soufflé with dark chocolate pouring sauce is a celestial experience. We’ve got our eye on the Grand Marnier for next time – it comes with a bottle of the orangey liqueur, for pouring as you please. Le Soufflé might not be for everyone (vegans, egg haters and food snobs – stay away) but the quality of the cooking, friendly service and sheer novelty is a winning formula. Book in advance and you will leave planning your next visit. Who needs trendy concept food when heaven can be found at the bottom of a ramekin?
36 rue du Mont Thabor
|Price:||Starters €11-21, savoury soufflés €14-19, dessert soufflés €11-12, wine by the glass, bottle and carafe, three-course set menu €37, kids menu €19|
|Opening hours:||Mon-Sat midday-4.15pm, 7-10pm|