16 June 2019

La Marmite ~ French \ New Caledonian, Noumea

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We've been visiting Nomea for a weeklong foodfest for the last seven years in a row. We've had a fair handful of 'best ever' meals there. And about the same amount of  disappointments.  The highs are highs and the lows are low, especially for the price.

We budget about fifty bucks each for a meal and a drinky or two, maybe entree or a desert, which is about the same as Australian mid-range dining. So sometimes it can be the best fifty bucks we've ever spent. Sometimes it's the exact opposite. But mostly we find Noumea's restaurants to be on the plus side of excellent.

Any disappointments usually come down to us simply picking the wrong dish, which comes down to us simply not knowing enough about French food in all its deep, vast glory. And not speaking French doesn't help either. Sometimes we haven't ordered what we thought we ordered. Sometimes we order something because we have no idea what it is. Occasionally French/Pacific tastes don't match ours (eg tuna and ketchup). It helps if you like meat, fish and ofal. In that order of magnitude.

One of the easiest restaurants to recommend in Noumea is La Marmite. It's by the water, the food is a bit fancy without being foofy, and the cooking is always top notch, all for the sweet price of about AUD $50 /  $70 for 2/3 courses. Yet even at Marmite we can mess up on the ordering. On our last visit Alison has two 'oh my god' dishes while Shawn felt like he spent fifty bucks on a bowl of lettuce. If there's any lesson in this - just order what Alison orders, she has menu reading super powers.



Case in point is Alison's entree pick: duo of yellowfin tuna and foie gras. Cubes of tuna sashimi and foie gras. It arrives dry, the waiter ceremoniously pours a cumin spice broth out of a ornamental tea pot. The sauce had a touch of oil to it making it extra sensational mopped up with baguette. Alison describes this dish as "unbelievable, one of the best dishes I've had in my life." And she's had a few...



Mr Shawn liked the sound of the Mangove crab, bacon and wild mushroom gratin, doesn't that sound fancy pants? It turns out to be like crab farci, a plain dish which we like, but more in a Wednesday night fish rissole\tuna surprise kind of way.




Alison slam dunks another pick - slow cooked supreme of guinea fowl, soy butter and homemade mashed smokey potatoes. A lovely hunk of bird, like a chicken who secretly cross dressed as a turkey, covered in an amazing foamy buttery sauce. This dish has also gone into Alison's all time top ten.

Meanwhile, Shawn orders a salad nicoise which turns out to be pretty much just a huge bowl of lettuce, which in hindsight, maybe that's what the waiter was trying to tell him... Shawn so shitty he didn't take a photo of his food. And that never happens. Shawn's ordering remorse was to the point that he wanted to come back the next day and have Alisons picks. And he laments not doing that too.

And there you have it, a meal out in Noumea can be the best or most average fifty bucks you've ever spent. Even in the same restaurant.



If in doubt at Marmite, get the crispy meat thingy, as seen in a previous post, it's always a winner and always seems to be on the menu, which otherwise changes visit to visit.







La Marmite is at 5 Rue Jules Garnier, Noumea. Linkypoos - TripAdvisor, FriendFace, B-Kyu




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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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