Chez Jules, Chester
OK, so I have to admit: French food is not really my thing. I love France, having travelled there many times, but other than the fabled Croque Monsieur I could take or leave the grub. Or most Northern European food, for that matter. Typically, I much prefer more exotic fare.
I was to be pleasantly surprised by Chez Jules, however.
The restaurant has been offering French meals for many years, though I have never visited before. I was tagging along in a family party. Chez Jules was immediately impressive with its continental style and warm welcome.
We were visiting on a Tuesday evening, when Chez Jules offers a pretty unbeatable offer: two courses and a bottle of wine for just £17.50 each. That’s a whole bottle of wine, to myself. With two courses of food. Absolutely crazy.
The menu changes regularly, but appears to offer a wide variety of temptations. For my entrees, I opted for pork rillettes, served with caramalised onion chutney and toasted French bread. That didn’t mean much to me, but I can tell you I was reminded of pate in style. As always with pate, I ran short of toast – however the excellent staff had provided bread for the table, so I hoovered that up as well. Fantastic start.
For the main, or “plats de resistance”, I ordered a pork, apricot and sage roulade, with potato puree and red wine jus. Think along the lines of a little dome of pulled pork. This was an exceptionally tasty centre for my meal. “Jus” turns out to be like gravy, which was a bit of a relief as I was slurping the (very good!) red wine too easily. I think I was worried that Chez Jules would realise their offer was ridiculous and would want their wine back.
The main courses were accompanied by vegetables (potatoes, broccoli, carrots etc) – plenty to be shared amongst us. This was the only part of the meal that left me under whelmed – I’ve never been a fan of vegetables of this type. No fun at all.
However such is the standard of French (and English) food, so to be scathing here would be like complaining in a Mexican restaurant that they don’t do fish’n’chips. Plus the dauphinoise potatoes were pretty fine.
To finish my meal off, I couldn’t resist a dessert. I had a chocolate and raspberry confection – it was like a mousse – served with creme fraiche. This was new to the menu, me being the guinea pig. And I could have pigged out all day on this, it was wonderful!
My visit to Chez Jules left me very happy and somewhat surprised. The food, though not my personal choice, turned out to be extremely good. The Tuesday night deal was unbelievable value and the staff were professional, yet friendly and down to earth. I would definitely visit again.
Food Quest Test
- Food: Confusing menu choices but you can’t go wrong – very tasty. Even the vegetables!
- Drink: I drank red wine. No complaints what so ever. Bargain.
- Service: Professional and friendly.
- Cost: Go on a Tuesday. Surely the best value ever?!
Chez Jules, 71 Northgate Street, Chester CH1 2HQ
The Chez Jules website is here.