La Royale Lille was a surprised find. This tiny bistrot does not give off a toothsome vibe. It looks cosy and service crew were friendly. Menu was in French but the consolation is that the service crew spoke English.
Similar to most French bistrot, the tables were extremely near to each other. Audible conversation of next table could be heard. Neatly hand-written menu on a blackboard was handed over right after I was sat down.
Since this isn’t a fine dinning restaurant, amuse bouche isn’t served. Immediately, came my order of Entree (starter), Carpaccio de St Jacques de nos côtes / huile de noix / citron / jeunes pousses (11€). Fresh scallop with minimal seasoning. Not quite sure what was on the dish that gave off the bitter hint which I didn’t quite enjoy. As I can see that the ingredients were simply some oil, lemon for zest and some leafy vegetables. Otherwise, it was pretty fine.
Together with first course, crusty artisan bread was presented too. Pillowy texture with crusty edge. It was as perfect as it could be.
Filet de bar sauvage / crème de topinambour / céleri rôti / sauce poisson (23€) was my Main. A huge white plate with the fillet occupied a fraction of the plate and sauteed vegetables and roots circled the inner circumference with mashed in the centre. Fish was with firm texture, tasty. And I love in particular the crispy chips.
Strangely though I would choose Pear as the fruit, I would be happy to order a Pear dessert, Poached Pear With Salted Butter Caramel (8.50€). The poached pear could be more flavourful, Perphaps the idea for a light pear was to highlight the salted butter caramel. Personally, I think the purple crystal was unnecessary. Providing more of aesthetic than flavour.
A surprise when I signalled the service crew and said “l’addition s’il-vous-plaît” (The bill, please), came the Madeleine. Lightly buttery with soft and smooth texture. The texture and taste was between the sponge cake and butter cake.
A pity there isn’t set menu at La Royale Lille even for lunch, as such the bill could be quite hefty, however, I think it is worthwhile.
La Royale Lille
37 rue Royale, 59800, Lille, France
Tel: +33 3 20 42 10 11
Monday – Wednesday 1200 to 1400 | Thursday – Saturday 1200 to 1400, 1900 to 2200 | Closed on Sunday
By Metro: Rihour