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May 10, 2009 07:34 PM

A very disappointing dinner at Jadis

The cheese plate was good and their chocolate soufflé was not bad...those are the only two "good" things I can say about our dinner at Jadis. We're certainly not going back.

For starters, we both had what were basically tempura battered squid accompanied by onion rings. It wasn't terribly bad but they weren't much better than what I could get for $3 from a supermarket deli anywhere in Japan. It was that boring and lazy. The onion rings by the way were cold and soggy as in they must had been sitting around for at least a couple of hours.

For the main course, we had two different dishes of white fish. Again, nothing offensive but nothing inspiring either. Texture felt odd and flavors just didn't come together.

Service was rushed and bordering on pretty rude.

For the rest of the week, we went to the market everyday and prepared 3 (ok, more like 5) meals a day at home. Though I'm not a very good cook, it was hard to eat badly given all the wonderful ingredients. :)

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  1. Jadis does indeed polarise opinion, when we ate there our experience was similar to yours. A couple of good dishes intermingled with some pretty average ones, and your description of the service resonates with me.

    However, other appreciate its return to fundamental philosophy, in their words "good ingredients, cooked simply". To me the jury is still out, is it fashion/hype over substance?

    11 Replies
    1. re: PhilD

      The difference with this negative report of Jadis is that it clearly implicates the quality of the work. Soggy onion ring is a grave sin. My good opinion of Jadis is based on meals free of that kind of mistake -- and I must say I was almost alone in the restaurant at lunch. I liked the seriousness and unpretentiousness. That's not what kikisakura is describing.

      The "uninspired" critic is different -- it has to do with Jadis' concept, not trying to be destination dining but just an honest, moderno-traditional bistrot.

      We need to give another try, don't we?

      1. re: souphie

        "Soggy onion ring is a grave sin."

        Love it. :)

        On a more serious note, if Jadis had delivered on their "good ingredients, cooked simply" motto, we'd have been perfectly happy. I am not a big fan of culinary acrobatics and I am willing to pay for simply prepared food as long as it's made with respect and care. I love dining out in Italy because I feel "inspired" when I encounter a lovingly prepared pasta dish followed by fresh fish grilled to perfection. It makes me want to try harder next time I'm cooking at home.

        Now, I don't want to whine but I am having a hard time finding "I'm so grateful I'm here to have experienced this dish" moments in restaurants in Paris and that puzzles me. Don't get me wrong - I've had many good meals but nothing that made me feel I can happily die then and there. I'm not working when I'm in Paris so I have all the time in the world to food shop day and night (I know, lucky me) and I'm seriously considering moving to Paris full-time so I can be near all the great raw ingredients. Actually, Jerome Bordier's seaweed butter alone almost makes a convincing case for relocating to France. So, why aren't the chefs doing more with what they have? Am I expecting too much from "affordable" restaurants in Paris? Or, am I not going to the right place?

        1. re: kikisakura

          Kikisakura - IMO "affordable" is your issue as in "Am I expecting too much from "affordable" restaurants in Paris?". The answer is probably yes.

          Paris is expensive for real estate, staff, taxes, and of course quality ingredients. It is also quite a wealthy city therefore restaurants charge the market rate, and as the market can afford high prices, the prices are high. There are lots of good restaurants, but you do pay for quality.

          I think it actually gets worse when you live in Paris because you get used to the range and quality of ingredients. If you visit Paris for a weekend or short break the average quality is usually better than the average quality at home so you go away delighted. I am afraid that by living in Paris your standards will rise....!

          1. re: kikisakura

            Which ones did you try? Even at its best (or at least as I tried it), Jadis does not qualiy for "I'm so grateful I'm there". In my opinion, foie gras or cote de veau à l'Ami Jean, pot au feu de foie gras at la Régalade, eel and duck Chez Christophe, anything at Joséphine including the wines, ris de veau or chicken at l'Auberge Bressane, cassoulet at l'Auberge du Quincy, duck at Likafo do, to name but a few examples.

            1. re: souphie

              I also had an uneven experience at Jadis and found the service to be troubling.

              I wrote up my experience here:

              1. re: khornstein

                I also find that too many cooks use too much salt -- I wonder if their palates have been destroyed by excessive seasoning or too much smoking?

                1. re: Nancy S.

                  Too much salt makes me flip out at restaurants. Rather than too much smoking, I think it happens from chefs who've drank too much prior to their shift.

                  1. re: Busk

                    Ah, probably. It's so disappointing when it happens because there is nothing to be done to correct it. It's my frequent complaint in New York restaurants as well.

            2. re: kikisakura

              Hi Kikisakura, there are really good places but you have to be a bit picky! Just this weekend we had two very fine and not so expensive meals at A la Biche au Bois and Auberge Bressane. They are both more old fashioned and appeared to care about the preparation and service. Try either or both and you will not be disappointed!

              1. re: rosciolit

                There you go, l find A La Biche au Bois a lot of fun and bustle. The coq au vin, the civet au cerf, the boeuf bourgignon are good but very dense and heavy. Last time there of the 8 of us, no one went back to their huge pot for more of their plat. A little goes way too far, waste of food

                1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                  We had a stellar meal at Jadis last week, not a thing off point, and the dish of foie blonde with langoustines was, for me, one of those "i can die now" moments. Service was a bit perfunctory, as in many of the bistonomiques, but perfectly acceptabe. I'll be reporting on this and others in a separate post soon.