24 November 2015

Le Relais de la Vallée - French - Noumea, New Caledonia

Le Relais de la Vallée is Noumea's top restaurant if you're in the mood for seriously rich French cream sauces and seriously friendly service.

Le Relais de la Vallée is hidden out in the suburbs of Noumea in the bottom of a small apartment building. It's a tiny restaurant with half a dozen tables, and filled with pictures from the 1930's French film Marius, depicting life on the Marseilles wharves. The owner and chef is from Marseilles, and we'd put a fiver on him being an Olympique de Marseille fan too.

We were actually kind of blown away by the hospitality here, easily the friendliest place we've been to in recent memory, they're just such freaking nice people, the reviews on TripAdvisor describe it better than we can. The food is country-style rich and plentiful, oh those creamy sauces, they're harder to find in these parts (and in Paris!) than you might think. Shawn's mum calls it the 'sauce restaurant'.

Before we even order the chef appears with an entree of house made foie gras: on the house. We're ecstatic. It's richy, creamy and fatty, studded with tiny pink peppercorns and served with little toasted triangles of bread. Best of all most of the table aren't foie gras fans, so Shawn and Alison pretty much scoff the lot. Joy.

Profiteroles, but not as you know them. These ones are filled with snails and coated with a cream sauce mixed with pastis and loads of fresh parsley. Around 2,200 cpf a serve.

Panache de St Jacques et Crevettes - 2,800 cfp. Prawns and scallops in a creamy sauce.

Caille au farcie foie gras, around 3000 cpf.  It's like a mini French terducken...

...a terducken of quail stuffed with foie gras and sausage meat. Alison was near exploding with joy eating this.

Rouget sauce safron - 2,500 xpf.  Fish fillet with prawns in a rich creamy safron sauce. Shawn remembers marvelling at how perfectly the fish was cooked, this what separates chefs from mug home cooks like us.

Magret de canard - 3,000 cpf. Grilled duck breast...

...it's like thick rich ducky steak, pink and juicy in the middle. We'd take magret de canard over steak any day.

Crevettes au Kahlua - 2,800 cfp. Prawns in a creamy Kahlua (yes, the coffee flavoured booze) sauce. The Kahlua made the sauce too sweet for our likings, this was the only dish we were disappointed with, other folks may like the sweetness though.

Fondant au chocolate - 1,000 cfp. Uber rich moist dense chocolate cake with chocolate sauce, white chocolate ice cream and cream. Shawn's brother was drunk on sugar overload and is still working off the calories to this day.

Creme brulees - 1,000 cfp. You gotta have creme brulee.

We had such a good time, spoons and forks were flying around the table: try this, now you try this! The chef seemed super happy that we were super happy and came out with a bottle of bubbles on the house. Mr Chef was actively involved from the start, helping with ordering, service, even clearing dishes. When the guy that cooks your food is so involved with the customers and seeing their happy faces it's no wonder the food is so good.

It's not a cheap restaurant but the food is good and unique in Noumea, and the folks that run the place make it quite a special experience.

Le Relais de la Vallée Menu - click to enlarge...

Le Relais de la Vallée Menu - click to enlarge...

Le Relais de la Vallée Menu - click to enlarge...

There's quite a few specials boards around the room,

More specials!

La Relais de la Vallee is at 39 ter, rue Charleroi Vallée des Colons, Noumea. See TripAdvisor and FriendFace, La Relais de la Vallee is in the suburbs so you'll want a taxi or get a bus from the city centre. If you're the walking type like us you can waddle there easily enough (in winter anyway), it took us around 45 minutes from Anse Vata, it's probably quicker from town.

While you're out this way check out the nearby Geant supermarket, it's big, bright and modern with  an excellent deli.

La Relais de la Vallee is small and popular so reservations are recommended, we couldn't get a table during the week of our previous holiday. Phone (687) 252 839. Note that bookings can tricky if you don't speak French.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, seafood, rice and creamy sauce followed by creme brulee...I'm going. Well one day maybe


Thanks for your comment joy - please keep your musings happy - if you want to complain about a restaurant please do it on a restaurant review site (or your own blog) - we're all about celebrating cultural diversity and the great eats that come along with it :-)

Our ethics: We pay for all our own meals and travel (though sometimes Mum shouts us).