Camélia Reviews; Paris, France
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Camélia, Paris

251 rue Saint-Honoré, 75001, Paris, France
Camélia Review
5 Star Rating
22 August 2012Camélia
Tags: Paris, France, Fine Dining reviewsThe Bill: £108 per person

The Mandarin Oriental in Paris is a high quality newcomer to the Parisian hotel scene but has set the bar high from the off. Located on the enviable Rue Saint-Honore, the brand has put itself front and centre of the city scene.

Inside the hotel is Camelia, a modern French restaurant with Thierry Marx at the helm. It is a modern French take on cuisine that sits perfectly inside the hotel and in the culinary world at large.

The dining room is large, light and decorated in a contemporary style. The furniture is modern with clean lines, the tables were all immaculately dressed and the uniformed staff bustled about quickly and quietly. All characteristics you would hope to see in a restaurant with such high standards.

There is the option of dining in the courtyard garden at Camelia, which we did seeing as it was a lovely day. The garden has a definite Oriental leaning as you would expect from the brand. It contained a lot of plants, trees and shrubs and some well-placed water features. It was a lovely oasis to escape the city streets for a while and lends itself well to a Parisian lunch.

“Camelia nods respectfully to the best of French cuisine.”

The menu is wide and modern. The chef has gone to a lot of trouble to design something fresh and new, yet still nods respectfully to the best of French cuisine. The dishes use local ingredients where possible and tries to include something for every taste.

The wine menu is equally well thought-out, with a wide range of French and European wines with a sprinkling of the New World in there too. From the menus alone, we were really looking forward to trying the food!

From the very first, it’s clear that the chef wants to engage all the senses. While there is precious little food on the plate, it is arrange like a piece of art. Everything we saw looked beautiful.

We began with sea bream and a crab ravioli. The sea bream was served as a carpaccio with pineapple and ginger. The bream was fresh, flaky and perfectly prepared. Raw bream is a new one on us, but it ate deliciously. The sweetness of the pineapple and the ginger took the edge off the rawness to deliver an exceptional starter.

The crab ravioli was served with turmeric and a puree of fava beans. The crab was fresh, perfectly balanced and the rice was perfectly cooked. Tempered by the turmeric, it worked really well with the bean puree.

Our main course consisted of lobster bisque and lamb saddle. The bisque came with gnocchi and a green pea puree. Seafood again, but what a dish. The gnocchi was perfectly prepared, the lobster still tasted of the sea and the pea puree added that perfect finishing touch.

The Lamb was served with eggplant, basil and confit tomato and was also perfectly presented and prepared. The lamb was perfectly pink, juicy and looked great. The accompaniments gave a very interesting texture that left us feeling very satisfied indeed.

Dessert was la fraisa and home-made chocolate ice cream. The la fraisa was a rice crispy and pistachio soufflé, served with an almond biscuit, fresh strawberries and fresh whipped cream with vanilla.

The ice cream was made with 62% Venezuelan cocoa beans and was served with caramel and chocolate spheres. Both were ideal endings to the meal and left us feeling completely satisfied.

Our meal at Camelia was superb. The service was good, the food excellent and the ambience ideal. We would definitely eat here again.

Photos courtesy of Camélia
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Service: 9reviews of CaméliaLocation: 9Camélia reviewsValue: 8CaméliaStyle: 8Camélia reviewQuality: 9
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