10 January 2018

Au P'tit Cafe ~ Noumea, New Caledonia

Au P'tit Cafe is one of our favourite restaurants in the world - it's the penultimate New Caledonian restaurant - upbeat and cheffy yet island style relaxed, French inspired with touches of Asia and Pacific.

We usually schedule a visit to Au P'tit Cafe towards the end of our when we start craving some lightness and vegetable matter after a week of protein-heavy French leaning foods, though the occasional heavier dish they do here, they do really well (the beef cheeks with foie gras sauce is still Shawn's all time fave).

The menu is wisely kept to around four mains and four desserts, it changes weekly and you check out current eats on their Facebook page.

Prawn salad - we love New Caledonian prawns, there's a unique toothsome texture to them that really works in cooking. The prawns are great in the salad but the stars of the show are the fried mussels which have the whole crunchy outer gooey inner thing going. The salad is subtlety dressed in a way the French are masters of. The salad sits on base of sweet potato adding some substance to the dish. Happiness abounds.

Cerf burger - venison is a local speciality so we are keen to try some deer in pattie form, and we're also keen to extract revenge on the moose brotherhood after one of their own bit Alison on the muffintop in Nara, Japan.

The burger is slider sized with a noblet of foie grais on top. The pattie is medium rare as ordered and tastes like a burger, we probably wouldn't have known it was venison if we weren't told. The salad is the star of the show, some green papaya salad and garden salad, with a couple of chippies for good measure. atop of he salad was a sprinkle of something mysterious and wonderful, we forgot to ask what it was, some kind of grated nut wethinks.

Dessert menu - out of focus (stupid easy-to-forget macro button).

The passionfruit cheesecake is the one dish that is always on the menu, it's a classic. A light creamy style cheesecake, this time it's a little sweeter than versions we have had in the past, it is usually a little bitter.

Next up was the cremeux orange, tuile noisette, glace et biscuit d'epice, or orange cream with a crisp hazelnut biscuit and spicy cake. There was just a hint of ginger in the spice mix, with a balanced citrus in the cream. Yum. Mo.

Au P'tit Cafe is at 8, av des freres Carcopino, Noumea, Grand Terre 98800, New Caledonia. Phone (687) 28 21 89. See www.auptitcafe.nc and TripAdvisor. Tip: Au P'tit Cafe's Facebook page usually has photos of dishes from the current menu so you can decide before you arrive.

We've been twice in winter and found we need to book a day or two in advance to get a table, especially when there is more than two of us. We just walk by on a Tuesday lunchtime and make a booking for later in the week.

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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 :-)

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