Oui Madame, 182 Stoke Newington Rd, London, N16 7UY
Monday, August 19, 2013 at 1:30PM
Alice Kearney

A French bistro is a very welcome addition to the Stokie scene. Stokie/Dalston are so plentiful of cheap eats; curry, Turkish and in the last year or so a proliferation of Mexicans, but no real gastronomic delights. I live only 2 doors away from this restaurant so although excited slightly concerned that it would bring an unwelcome crowd.

Cheese and Meat Platter

It has been nearly a year since they opened and any fears have so far been unfounded. So on to the food. They have quite a simple formula, a 3 course set menu at £23 with the occasional supplement; they also have side or sharing plates. This makes sense for the kitchen and also allows them to prepare a menu dependent on fresh ingredients (they don’t write the menu until around 4pm).  The 3 courses usually start with a vegetarian soup or gazepecho and a side crouton. There are 3/4 mains; one vegetarian, one white and one red meat and then 2 desserts. From what I have seen and eaten, all courses are very well cooked and decent portions. On my first visit we wanted to try everything and so had sharing plates and then followed with the 3 course menu – way too much - you’ve been warned). The side/sharing plates for me are more inventive and far more interesting way to eat, but that may say more about me than their food. I have had the king prawns in black squid ink sauce, octopus foccacia, mixed charcuterie, tomato and mozzarella salad, fois gras terrine, all the dishes used great ingredients and showcased them to their best.


Tomato Salad

I have seen that there have been some complaints about service, the 3 times I have been there I have not had any issue at all. It is a family business and therefore the waiting staff seem to care immensely and yes occasionally the odd glass of wine goes a miss but on the whole they are really on the ball.  This is not a Michelin star restaurant and just a bistro so relaxed service is what you should expect.

The wine is not cheap and the house wine is served as half carafe which was to us a bit misleading, as a bottle would have been cheaper. However the wine whether carafe or bottled was very drinkable and much better than the usual house you get in Dalston so the price reflected that.

The most important part for me is the atmosphere of the place, there is a hip, trendsetter feel from the décor to the clientele. On a Tuesday night do not be surprised to see a 23 year old in leather hot pants. This usually sends shivers down my spine and yes I was the oldest person in there on a Saturday night (mid 30’s), but the food staff and general ambiance make up for it. 

Talk Rating: 4/5

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