Pete Sweeney (more chengdu)|
It’s difficult to understate how beautiful this restaurant is. Tucked away in the hip new refurbished Kuan Alley north of Tianfu Square, Desir combines a traditional Chinese layout and architecture with western touches in the furniture, the lighting, and the glass windows. The place is laid out like a maze so, in any given room, the setting is intimate. The bar area is covered by a glass roof so it’s a great place to have a drink during a rainstorm.
In short, Desir is Chinese where it counts, and French where it counts. If the architecture is Chinese, the food is (with the exception of the gazpacho) completely French. The kitchen and wine list are under the discerning eye of their French Head Chef who also oversees a full Chinese staff responsible for creating the cuisine. The results are, for the most part, both tasty and authentic. If you’re used to French cuisine, you’ll recognize most of the dishes. If you aren’t, there is no English menu. However, the owner speaks fluent French, English, and Chinese so if there’s a genuine emergency, he’ll come over and help.
I started with a broillade aux truffes (eggs with truffles), which was decent but next time I’ll get the escargot, or the gazpacho (It’s hot out!). For the main course I had Noisette d’Agneau (lamb pasta), which had an excellent sauce and was beautiful to look at. The escargot got good reviews from other diners, as did the fish. Washing everything down with a 112 kuai bottle of surprisingly decent (at that price) red wine rounded everything off nicely.
Desir also offers set lunch and dinner, at 66rmb and 188rmb, respectively. For the novice, I recommend going this route as you get to try a bit of everything, including dessert, and you get a glass of wine as well. If you’re just feeling like a little something and a drink, or if spending over 100rmb on a main course startles you, Desir also has plenty of small amuse bouches (mouth amusers) and desserts.