In the land of croissants and pastries, it’s hard to imagine Paris as a vegan heaven. But, as they say, if only you look, there’s something to see. Gentle Gourmet Cafe is perhaps Paris, and the vegan worlds, most underrated restaurant. Yeah, I went there.
For many traveler’s the cuisine of a new destination is as important to experience as the local cuisine. Gentle Gourmet Cafe is one of those little treasures that provides exactly this, delicate Parisian meals, with a cruelty free twist. It provides the perfect extension of Paris’ luxury atmosphere, and achieves this in a way that does not compromise, yet rather enhances, the calmness of your experience. It’s one of those restaurants you want to put it your backpack and take with you—it’s THAT good.
The best part of trying a new destinations cuisine is the new and exciting burst of flavors you experience the minute that first bite hits your palate—at least, that’s the favourite part of new foods for me. Gentle Gourmet’s meal’s are no exception. Offering a mix of Parisian and contemporary meals, my two courses provided the perfect burst of flavor any meat-eater would be excited about. As any vegan knows, that is a review to be excited about.
My meal started with a classic ‘Chicken’ Caesar Salad wrap. With high expectations (Caesar salads were one of my favourite dishes pre-vegan), and despite my dislike for mock meat, the temptation was too high for me to resist. And thank god I gave in, because this was a game changer. The mock chicken was delicate and light, and the sauce provided that classic Caesar tang without the heavy creaminess that turn most people away. There aren’t many ways you can plate up a simple wrap and make it look good, but Gentle Gourmet took this challenge and raised the stakes; decorated with pink alfalfa (yes pink!), they presented a dish I, and any other keen Instagrammer, could get excited about. With an entree as good as this, I wondered how they could pull off a better main.
But they did. I opted for the Le Basque; herb-crusted seitan ‘scallops’, a sauteed bell-pepper, tomato and garlic ‘piperade’, with fine vegan ‘chorizo’ chips. This meal was fresh, and I mean fresh—the tomatoes tasted like they had been picked 5 minutes ago! It was like popping a small balloon of flavor each time I bit into a new one, it was honestly just incredible. The ‘scallops’ and ‘chorizo’ were both a type of soy protein, but they were so believable I had to ask the waiter several times that it was vegan because I just couldn’t see how it could be. This dish was one of those classics that vegan’s don’t normally get the chance to taste, but dammit we should. Thinking about it now as I write this post has me salivating again and checking my calender for when I can return to Paris. Because yes, ladies and gents, this is a meal worth traveling for.
GIVE ME THE DEETS
Lunch : 12.00 – 14.30
Dinner : 18.30 – 22.00
24 Boulevard de la Bastille, 75012 Paris.
Reasonably priced for Gourmet food. See the full menu and price list on their website.
Would I recommend?
YES. Would I recommend you book a ticket to Paris just to go here? Yes. The craziest part of this?
I’m being completely honest.
Over to you: have you visited the Gentle Gourmet Cafe yet? And if so, did you love it as much as I did?!