Posted by Jen Sahi on 10th April 2019.

The first thing you notice when approaching Bleu Blanc isn’t the wooden whitewashed bench with its blue and white grain sack cushions, nor the strategically placed bicycle with its basket filled to the brim with wheat sheaves and dried flowers. It’s the striking blue door, set within an impressive façade of white-framed windows that attracts you like a moth to a flame.

You enter Bleu Blanc through a small vestibule lovingly decorated with lavender, tea sets and trinkets, and you know at once that this is a place that focuses on the finer details.

The restaurant is on the first floor, and when you emerge from the lift, you can’t help but soak in its charm. The open yet cozy space is straight out of a French provincial lookbook with its exposed wood beams, blown glass pendant lighting, and mismatched vintage decor. And at the heart of it all – the envy of many a chef and home cook alike – a sprawling open kitchen with an imposing wood-fired grill, which is used for much of the cooking as well as to dry herbs and fish for sauces and stock.

Bleu Blanc is the creation of David Myers, a highly awarded American chef known for his love of travel and effusive warmth. He also happened to be in town on my visit and had me in the palm of his hand with a mere six words when he told me how honoured he was to have me at his restaurant.

My table is next to a gorgeous picture window which looks out towards the canal. But I won’t lie and say I don’t feel a twinge of jealousy watching a private party at the Chef’s Table, barely two metres away from the grill, get so much one-on-one attention from David and his Parisian executive chef, Alex Szkaradkiewicz.

David’s food is inspired by his travels but remains rustic and uncomplicated, which allows the true taste of the main ingredient to shine through. One of my favourite dishes is the al dente Butter-Poached Lobster Risotto with a kaffir lime foam that adds an aromatic Southeast Asian flavour. The Charred Octopus with pistou and smoked aioli is reminiscent of the Galician octopus tapas you’ll find in northwestern Spain.

The Sea Bass is a simple skin-on fillet served with grilled garlic chives and a sauce incorporating a Japanese dashi butter and jalapeño. The only oddity of the evening is the large dollop of aioli accompanying my Striploin Wagyu, which I mistake for whipped potatoes and scoop straight into my mouth, then out again.

The most elaborate dishes seem to be the desserts and the sides, for example, an Earl Grey Ice Cream with a thick chocolate pudding, powdery chocolate balls, honey gelée and sherry prunes, or the Sweet Potato side with a subtle salted plum crème fraîche with chili, chives and beef speck.

If you’re looking for top-notch food at an elegant yet laidback restaurant that oozes warmth and charm, you’ve found it with Bleu Blanc.

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