​Eggstravagantly delicious French bistro fare at new hidden gem Avec Moi

COCONUTS CRITIC’S TABLE — Ever since the unfortunate closure of the late great Java Bleu, we’re always on the look out for places serving fine French food in Jakarta (at non-heart-stopping prices). So any news about new bistros in town is of interest to us. 

We’d heard a lot of good things about Avec Moi (yes, like the song), a cozy French bistro located just behind Grand Indonesia. We had a little bit of trouble finding Avec Moi because it’s located in an office park and it’s hard to see their sign from the road (you can check the map at the bottom to get it’s exact location) but we came away very happy we had made the effort.

Located in a narrow, 2-floor shophouse space, Avec Moi uses a dark color palette of black and gray for much of it’s decor, but still manages to be bright and cheerful, with large windows, wood panels and cute rabbit-accented art pieces around the venue.

We were also cheered when we read the message on each table from the owners, a husband and wife team, that said the restaurant’s Chef Romano had worked with several other French chefs including Gunther Hubrechsen, the man behind Singapore’s famed Gunther restaurant (considered by many to be one of the Lion City’s finest). Definitely a good sign.

One reason that we were excited to try Avec Moi was that we saw the word sous-vide eggs multiple times on the menu. We all know that just about any food – from Indomie to hamburgers – can be upgraded from a good dish to a great dish with the addition of a well-cooked eggs. And sous-vide eggs, cooked slowly at precisely the right temperature to achieve a custardy texture, can be heaven for egg lovers when used well

So for our appetizer we chose the salmon tartare with the 63 degree C sous-vide egg (Rp. 60k). The egg’s sunspot yellow yoke made it hard to not eat it long enough to take this picture.

The raw salmon, mixed with the luscious yoke, herbs and a light cream sauce to bind the pieces together, tasted rich and complex, the luscious minced fish contrasted with bitter and herbaceous notes. A great start to the meal, although it was difficult to share between two people as it only came with one slice of grilled baguette (since bread has to be the least expensive ingredient in the dish, a second slice shouldn’t hurt).

The sous-vide eggs also make an appearance on the pasta section of the menu so we decided to try Avec Moi’s prawn pasta (88k) and bacon carbonara pasta (82k). The idea with both dishes is to stir the egg, which is served to you intact atop the pasta, into the rest of the ingredients to form the sauce. In the prawn dish (above) the egg gets mixed with a thin but intense pool of prawn broth while in the carbonara it gets tossed with rendered bits of crispy pork. The result both times are sauces that are thin yet creamy, delicate yet full-flavored. Awesome stuff.

The sous-vide machine gets used for a non-egg dish in Avec Moi’s duck leg confit (Rp. 145k), in featuring a duck leg that has been cooked in it’s own fat until the meat is meltingly tender. Our large leg came with gloriously crispy skin and meat that was almost falling off the bone. The tomato concasse, with additional sweetness from caramelized onion and grapes, was in nice balance to the rich duck.

Despite being a French bistro we had to try Avec Moi’s hamburger (Rp. 115k) as well since we’d heard good things about it. The juicy patty came topped with a thick layer of caramelized onion, which looked great but almost overwhelmed the taste of the beef (if we had decided to get the burger topped with the optional pork belly or foie gras then the balance might have been better). The fries tasted fresh and potato-y taste but could’ve used a bit more time in the fryer.

Last but definitely not least, for dessert we chose the restaurant’s orange souffle. Even though the waitress told us it would take 20 minutes to bake, after several fantastic dishes we were willing to wait. The souffle was definitely worth it, with the kind of ethereally light and airy texture that only well-trained chefs can pull of consistently. 

Even though Avec Moi has only been opened a few months, Chef Romano and his partner (and wife) are already running a tight ship. Service was great and the food came faster than expected. 

The cool setting and slightly off-the-beaten path location would definitely make Avec Moi a good place to impress a first date, but the well-executed dishes at (relatively) reasonable prices make it a must-visit for French food lovers in Jakarta.

Coconuts Critics Table reviews are written based on unannounced visits by our writers and paid for by Coconuts Jakarta. No freebies here.

Avec Moi
Office Park Thamrin City, Blok. AA. 01, Jl. Thamrin Boulevard, Tanah Abang, Central Jakarta Pusat
(021) 29625878
Today 11:30am – 2:30pm, 6:00pm – 9:30pm
Facebook page
Zomato page (with menu)

Top photo: Avec Moi
Food photos: Coconuts Media


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