Passard protégée takes haute cuisine in new direction
In a few lines: Pascal Barbot spent five years working under Alain Passard at L’Arpège in Paris, but his CV also includes stints cooking in the South Pacific with the French navy and heading up Sydney restaurant Ampersand. His globe-trotting experiences are fully expressed at his small but chic restaurant, which combines modern French cuisine with influences from the Far East.
The food: Cream, butter and sauces are used in moderation with dishes instead accented with exotic flavours, such as verjus, miso and Chinese dates. A pastel pink slice of tuna is offset by vivid vegetables and flower petals, plus an almond milk and bergamot coulis, while miso-marinated mackerel is studded with toasted buckwheat and served with baby leeks.
The wine: Restaurant manager and co-owner Christophe Rohat, who worked with Barbot at L’Arpège, is a wine enthusiast, collaborating closely with head sommelier Alejandro Chavarro to source natural, organic and biodynamic wines from across France.
How to get a table: With difficulty. There are 25 covers in the sleek grey and mustard dining room and reservations are only taken over the phone. Book several months in advance.
What's in a name? Astrance is wild flower from Barbot's native Auvergne.