By Bob Percival
WHAT IT IS
Le Petit Comptoir is a great addition to the quality eateries that are blossoming along Yaw Min Gyi Street. It has been a very soft opening for this French bistro restaurant, with the French owner, Nicholas Rob, believing that the place will speak for itself, and it does. Nicholas is warm and friendly, and the perfect host. He is an avid lover of food and all things French. The New Zealand chef, Wayne Third, divides his time between here and the very successful Hummingbird restaurant. He is training up the local chef, and oversees the menu, which will be updated each month to reflect seasonal produce. The restaurant also bakes its own baguettes, pastries and quiche.
The decor is deceptively simple. Tables are made from recycled teak doors, which creates a friendly warm aesthetic. The seating is a set of eclectic re-assembled art-deco local chairs. The walls are lightly decorated with French posters. It is a simple white space that says welcome, relax and just enjoy the food. There is nothing pretentious here. There is ample seating so there is probably no need to book. It’s definitely a BYO alcohol establishment and corkage is cheap so as to encourage a bon vivant atmosphere.
My Burmese companion had never eaten French cuisine before. We chose the three dishes that had recently been added to the menu. We started with the Greek Salad (9500 Ks), made up of oversized pieces of grilled yellow and red capsicum, mixed with creamy and piquant imported feta cheese, pitted olives, and what seems to be the restaurant’s signature small red onions grilled to a delectable sweetness, all topped off with a light olive oil and balsamic dressing. Generous helpings of freshly cooked bread are complimentary. The Greek Salad is a perfect starter which takes advantage of the quality fresh vegetables available at the local morning markets
The Beef Bourguignon (18,000 Ks), served light baby onion, slowly roasted garlic and creamy mashed potato, was the standout dish for me. The beef, locally sourced, is marinated in red wine for four hours, then slowly cooked for five hours. The care and time taken in the preparation of this dish is fully rewarded. The generous chunks of meat are impossibly tender and the stew of thick rich sauce is full with flavour – this is a great dish. The Risotto (12,000 Ks), I found odd, in that there were so many ingredients, from creamy cheese, to abundant roasted capsicum, grilled baby onions, all topped with a generous helping of fresh pea-leaf. It was rich and filling and could easily be shared as a main dish. My companion loved it, assuring me that I was being far too pedantic about what risotto should be. We finished the meal with the best French Lemon Tart (9000 Ks) I have ever had the pleasure to eat. It looked wonderful served on a large white plate, surrounded by raspberry coulis. The tart was tart and full of a tangy lemon rind taste. The crust was thin and firm. The chef came out and told us this was his favourite pastry, and described the preparation in detail. He loved making it and we loved eating it.
Le Petit Comptoir is a great local bistro-style French eatery, with quality food, attentive service, and a homely ambience. This place is not to be missed – great for lunch or dinner with friends, or that romantic rendezvous. Check the blackboard for new monthly menu.
Address: 42 Yaw Min Gyi Street, Dagon Township
Phone: 09 974 725870
Opening Hours: 11:00 AM – 10:30 PM