Having trained under celebrity chef Thomas Keller at ‘Per se’ in New York after finishing her academics at the Culinary Institute of America, Chef Shreeya Adka launched The French Door, a restaurant showcasing gourmet dishes that focuses predominantly on French flavours and techniques. After overcoming the initial hiccups that plague any new food outlet, the chef and her team have found firm footing in their craft and are now working at maintaining their standards with regard to taste and quality. To understand a French restaurant is not just about the cooking styles or presentation. It also lies in the precision with which each dish is executed. A peek into the kitchen will reveal a clear demarcation between the various specialties. The dessert chef’s space for example will not in any way hinder the work of a chef who is responsible for the meats! The way each ingredient is weighed is as important as following a recipe.This is the secret to churning out dishes that are consistent time and time again.
The diner’s attention is captivated instantly on arriving at The French Door. The vintage wood and glass French doors with it’s matching blue European style bicycle parked in front alongside an archway of cascading bougainvillea are as pretty as a picture postcard. Once inside, the whimsical charm of bird cages hanging from boughs, eye-catching wallpaper, cheerful staff dressed in floral uniforms matching the décor all add a wonderful feel of the Parisian charm.
The chef’s mother, a talented interior designer has worked with her to create a space that unfolds into a fairy-tale like ambience with every passing gaze. The wall at the dining area on the first floor level, filled with frames of varied sizes and shapes is flatteringly brought to attention by the tall potted plants sprouting lush green foliage that connect the customer with the outdoors. The dainty lace coasters on the table seem like an extension of the frilly edged curtains draping the large windows in a manner that provides a delightful visual to look at in between every other mouthful!
Despite having an affinity towards French food, Chef Shreeya added a modest range of Indian dishes to her menu as she wanted people of all palate leanings to enjoy being at her restaurant. So, very often a plate of kebabs served in a stylish manner will be carried alongside a beautiful bowl of green pea soup garnished with a row of edible flowers. Also, by sensing the demands of the teenage and adolescent crowd that frequent her place, she decided to introduce a menu just for the evening hours between 3 and 7. It features a wide range of sandwiches, burgers and pizza, in addition to some vibrant soft drinks.
Already there are many favourite dishes from the French door, doing the rounds in foodie circles. The Fig & Goat Cheese Salad with it’s crisp arugula leaves, fresh grape halves, toasted walnuts and fig quenelles is much sought after.The dishes featuring savoury pastry are full of flavour and have the right play of texture between the flaky dough and the rich filling in both the chicken and mushroom quiches.
Sous-vide is another technique that is on this restaurant’s menu. It’s a kind of cooking which seeks to preserve flavour and moistness by cooking the protein, in a water bath, in a sealed pouch at a low, even temperature for a longer period of time that results in a succulent portion of chicken that is perfectly cooked. The garnishes that are put on the plate are more than just eye candy. They are flavour enhancers and the chef is keen for people to explore the many taste nuances associated with French food.
In doing that, while she has expanded the menu to include Italian pastas, risottos and the like, the French food is treated with the minimalism and reverence that it rightly deserves.
The breads are made in house with great focus on quality. The bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich is served between crusty ciabatta bread and the thin crust margherita pizza comes with a generous topping of freshly plucked basil leaves!
The fish burgers with the side of French fries are extremely popular as well. The one area where the chef and her team have tried to stay within her French training is with the desserts. There is a play of flavours with gels, sauces, infusions and fruit vying for attention on the plate.
The crème brulee with it’s thin sugar crust is blow torched perfectly to crack like glass at the first tap with the back of the spoon. It is served in an iron box that is a metaphor for the burnt caramel topping! The molded feathers in white and dark chocolate sit just so, perched on a chocolate dome. A light as air pannacotta has a saffron infusion that envelops the taste of turmeric and black pepper that is mild yet noticeable along with the hint of rose water jelly that adds a pink blush to the dish.
Constantly striving towards innovating and experimenting with ingredients Shreeya and her team are working towards giving their guests the joy of looking forward to exciting their palates at every visit!
Timings – 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. on all days
Address: #102, West Bashyagaralu Road, R.S. Puram, Coimbatore.
Ph: +91 70944 54044 | +91 422 2548400
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pg/The-French-Door