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L'ami Pierrot Bistro - Doing Food Right

By: Teej Posted: August-30-2014 in
Stewed beef cheek red wine (5 hours cooking) tagliatelle or mashed potato with olive oil

Peter Didier – The owner of the restaurant, has pulled off something quite spectacular here.

His restaurant, L’ami Pierrot, found a little off the beaten track, offers a blend of traditional and contemporary French food where diners can lose themselves in a chilled out, Mediterranean haze.

The décor – authentically French, evokes memories of a bygone summer spent in De Vendee. The walls, painted White and sandy Gold, are accentuated by the ambient lighting. In fact it’s just as the unmistakeable sound of Frank Sinatra’s voice softly kisses the evening air, I realise that as well as offering a unique charm rarely found in the hustle and bustle of Phnom Penh, L’ami Pierrot seduces you into an indefinite state of relaxation.

So how about the food? Well, it’s good. In fact, it’s incredible.

The menu offers an eclectic mix of French specialities and some good, filling, wholesome food. While on the starters menu, you can find French delicacies coming in the form of snails and perfectly prepared marrowbone, the not so brave (like myself) out there are catered for as well. Soup, Pate and a seafood option are all available. I went for the Pate.

Full of flavor and perfect in consistency, the pate was the ideal starting point for my feast. Served with freshly warm, crusty white bread it just made me even hungrier. I love food like that. The presentation - simple, yet elegant but in no way pretentious.

My friend, James (a chef, with a long history of working in Michelin star standard kitchens in some of England’s most prestigious restaurants including Heston Blumenthal’s ‘Dinner’ – the fifth best restaurant in the world) ordered the Marrowbone. After ‘putting it away’ with consummate ease in a particularly impressive time, he spent the next two or three minutes eulogising over the taste and the way it was prepared. Freshly done that day, cut right down the middle and served almost as a ‘Gratin’ with what appeared to be a small layer of breadcrumbs assembled on top. I tried it and to my delight it was delicious, perfectly seasoned with just the right amount of garlic and salt.

We shared one of Peter’s specials as a middle course. Prawns in a champagne sauce. I tried this purely because I wanted to try one of the specials. I wasn’t disappointed. Too many times have I been let down in France. Summer holidays spent ordering seafood only to see a tiny, unappetising, portion of poorly cooked prawns costing my old man an arm and a leg because we’re sat by a river with a nice view…

Not. This. Time. No sir!

Tiger Prawns. Eight of them. Big, massive, fat ones. Succulent is the word I’m looking for. There’s nothing worse than ordering shellfish only to find out those tasty crustaceans are the seafood equivalent of Victoria Beckham. No meat and no taste.

These ones, alternatively, where meaty, juicy and incredibly delicious. As for the sauce – stunning. A hint of champagne emanated through the tomato and cream which gave it a light taste that simply demanded that you return for seconds (and thirds and fourths and fifths…..)

For mains, I chose the Duck Confit. Once again, the dish was presented simply and elegantly and the taste of the perfectly cooked duck, subconsciously commands the body to begin preparations for the inevitable avalanche of food that is about to come it’s way – even after 2 previous courses. Sumptuous.

James went for the braised Beef cheek. Served in a gravy so flavoursome, it’s scarcely believable, the meat itself was cooked to perfection. Anyone who is a beef enthusiast – you know what that means. For those who aren’t, try the beef here and your education will be quick and concise. Put it this way - He’s doing it right.

Finally, desert was offered and while James had something called floating eggs, (I didn’t try that – I literally couldn’t) I went for the apple tart and in a similar vein of form to the previous three courses, it made Peter look good. More than good. It makes him look like the passionate French food enthusiast that he evidently is.

Having tried this, you can change that from enthusiast to expert.

The taste - refreshing but not overbearing in the apple department and the consistency of the tart just added to the enjoyment. Not too wet or sticky but not at all dry or crumbly. I’m almost certain if Gordon Ramsey got his chops round this, he’d probably stick it on his menu as well.

The meal was washed down with a couple of beers and a large glass of the house Red. The beer – of Polish origin, was, of course served chilled and damn it was good. In fact this was some of the nicest beer I’ve ever had the fortune to try. Sadly, I’ve not seen it elsewhere in the city since (and trust me, I’ve been looking).

The house red (which James had) noticeably disappeared in quicker fashion than usual (which, with James is saying something).

James had this to say: “It’s full bodied, but not over bearing and the way it tastes with this meat is f****** tasty!”

Not as eloquent a review as the French perhaps usually command but an emphatic one none the less.

Last but not least – the service. Peter himself is always about. Welcoming but not at all intrusive, he helps add to the wonderful atmosphere and in general the top food experience I had here. His staff are all Khmer and very friendly with a good level of English which makes the whole process that little bit smoother.

The bill itself came to just over $72USD but with a 15% discount on the final bill the whole thing came to around $60USD which for the quality and quantity is exceptional.

For reservations Call Peter on 016 642 630. Lunch is from 11.30am – 2pm and also offers a set lunch menu (no discount offered on this) and dinner service is from 6pm – 10pm. You can also visit him on Facebook.

When I asked Peter to describe his food he responded with, that it’s best in Phnom Penh for “Old Fashioned French food”, on this evidence it’s probably the best in South East Asia.

L’ami Pierrot - #47 Street 75


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