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La Boheme, Lymm, Reviewed

Deanna Thomas likes it ooh-la-la with Eric Cantona and Tarte au Citron

Written by . Published on July 1st 2013.


La Boheme, Lymm, Reviewed
 

AH, the French. Nope, not Simon Rogan’s place in the Midland Hotel, I’m talking about people actually from France. It’s fair to say the French love their food but they can get a bit sanctimonious about it. Of course, it’s not until you actually go to France that you see why.

All in all, this place is a real success story with Chef Troalen consistently producing quality dishes to an appreciative crowd.

Even at motorway service stations you can eat like ‘un roi’ whereas ours (apart from Tebay in The Lakes) force me to avoid eye contact with foreign visitors in an attempt at a gastronomic apology.

French restaurants usually keep their menus simple and are generally keen on sourcing seasonally and locally. If the little old lady down the road has made a batch of cheese from her goat herd and is selling it at market, you’re likely to find it later in the local brasserie. So how does that translate when a French chef sets up on this side of the Channel?

I first came across Paris-trained Chef Oliver Troalen at his restaurant La Bohemme in Lymm during a book launch late last year.

Outside in the dark

Outside in the dark

Despite it having been there for the past twelve years, I’d never heard of it. Troalen had just published his first cook book A Taste of France in North West England, a collection of recipes “that utilise home-grown North West ingredients and a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ to produce mouth-watering French dishes for the British palate, dispelling the myth that good food can’t be found in the North of England.” His words. His very grand words. Could he live up to them?

Troalen talks a good game

Troalen talks a good game

When Confidential asked me to find interesting places to eat within 30 miles of the city centre, I wanted to go back to La Bohemme to eat. We went on a Friday night and it was packed. The menu changes every three months to reflect the seasons and is a straight forward £27 for three courses/£22 for two with a few expected supplements for certain dishes.

Why does food always sound more appetising and even downright sexual in French? Let’s take his signature starter for example, haddock fritter anyone? No? Well perhaps madam would prefer ‘Le Fameux Beignet D'Haddock Aux Deux Saveurs’. Take another, if I didn’t know better, I might even be tempted to buy a bottle of ‘L'Assiette De Follie De Porc’ and spray it on my décolletage.

If a French restaurant can’t get a fish soup right, especially a family recipe, it’s game over from the off.

Well, they nailed ‘Soupe De Poisson de Mon Oncle Jean’. A full flavoured steaming bowl of pink, creamy bisque, as warm and comforting as a mermaid’s breath in a sailor’s fantasy - and better than my breath after eating the accompanying croutons slathered in rouille as garlicky as it was Gallic.

Soup-er success

Soup-er success

The ‘foie gras et sa brioche’ was described as ‘a must dish for a French restaurant’. Served with homemade golden sultana chutney it was as smooth and rich as a Burgundian billionare’s coffee.

For my main course I ordered the ‘Filet De Boeuf a La Cantona’ - pictured at the top of this page. The menu description almost took longer to say than to eat; ‘Fillet of beef filled with a spring onion, chive and roast garlic cream cheese, wrapped in pancetta, cooked to medium, accompanied with a deep fried roulade of potatoes, glazed roasted root vegetables, finished with a strong Port jus’.

Apparently the footballing legend had visited La Bohemme years ago and had enjoyed his beef dish so much, they decided to name it after him. The beef was cooked slightly less red than the name had promised, but I enjoyed it too.

The funny thing is, my husband usually likes to go for the beef dish, but as an Evertonian he claimed that however good it was he wouldn’t be able to swallow it, so he went for a turbot dish from the specials menu. ‘Filet de Turbot et veloute d’asperges’ served with fluffy cheddar pommes croquettes, seasonal vegetables and a silky, buttery sauce.

Silky turbot, not in any way red

Silky turbot, not in any way red

Puddings are a speciality at la Bohemme and (as in every course) portions are generous.

Expect to find permanent fixtures such as ‘bread and butter pudding De Maman’ and Crème Brulee – both originally British dishes?

The Tarte au Citron didn’t disappoint with a sweet pastry base carpet under gently wobbling sharp lemon-scented custard. I had hazelnut parfait with salted caramel sauce, sable biscuits and a poached pear. The biscuits lacked crunch and the pear was fine but when that combo of sweet, salty, frozen, nutty perfection hit my taste buds I actually shouted ‘I DON’T CARE’ at the voice in my head that questioned how my diet was going.

Lemon tart and a bit of a tart

Lemon tart and a bit of a tart

We ordered a bottle of Fleurie (£21.50) from a mid- priced 70% French wine list and the excellent waiting staff made sure our glasses were never less than half full at any time.

All in all, this place is a real success story with Chef Troalen consistently producing quality dishes to an appreciative crowd.

If you want to find a taste of France in North West England, go and eat at La Bohemme, it does exactly what it says on the...er...book.

You can follow Deanna Thomas on Twitter @DeannaThomas 

ALL SCORED CONFIDENTIAL REVIEWS ARE IMPARTIAL AND PAID FOR BY THE MAGAZINE.  

La Boheme, 3 Mill Lane, Heatley, Lymm, Cheshire, WA13 9SD. www.laboheme.co.uk/ 01925 753 657 

Rating: 14/20 
Food 7.5 (fish soup 8/10, foie gras 8/10, beef 7.5/10, turbot 7/10, lemon tart 7.5/10, parfait 7.5/10)
Ambience 3.5/5
Service 3/5

PLEASE NOTE: Venues are rated against the best examples of their kind: fine dining against the best fine dining, cafes against the best cafes. Following on from this the scores represent: 1-5 saw your leg off and eat it, 6-9 get a DVD, 10-11 if you must, 12-13 if you’re passing,14-15 worth a trip,16-17 very good, 17-18 exceptional, 19 pure quality, 20 perfect. More than 20, we get carried away.

Foie gras from La BohemeFoie gras from La Boheme

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23 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

David HalesJuly 1st 2013.

Only 14 Deanna? This is still the place I benchmark all others. Never had a bad course yet.

CharlotteJuly 1st 2013.

Easily one of my favourite places ever.

AnonymousJuly 1st 2013.

....I understand that it is not the reviewer, but the Editor who does the Scores. Why ??!

1 Response: Reply To This...
Jonathan Schofield - editorJuly 1st 2013.

And how could an editor give the scores when he hasn't been. And from whom did you hear that? The scores are the writer's although they may be asked for a reason why they've come to that figure.

Hero
Manc GuyJuly 1st 2013.

La Boheme? Lymm? Isn't this website called 'Manchester Confidential'? FYI Mancon...Lymm's not in Greater Manchester, let alone Manchester. It's actually in Cheshire FFS!!! So why the review Mancon? What next...a chippy in Keswick? How about a cheese 'n' oatcake joint in Stoke?

4 Responses: Reply To This...
Jonathan Schofield - editorJuly 1st 2013.

We review where we want Manc Guy. We've reviewed places in the Lakes, Yorkshire, Spain, France, New York, but don't worry if you like it parochial 95% of reviews are within Greater Manchester.

AnonymousJuly 1st 2013.

Much of Cheshire is culturally, economically and socially tied to Manchester anyway. To all intents and purposes it IS Manchester.

David in CheshireJuly 2nd 2013.

Lymm's not in Cheshire. It's in Warrington.

AnonymousJuly 2nd 2013.

And Warrington is in Cheshire....

July 2nd 2013.

GordoJuly 2nd 2013.

Terrific review Deanna, proud of you. I might have upped it 1 for service, 3's are average here, even so your food scores look pretty spot on and make me want to go, to few French cooks about

AnonymousJuly 2nd 2013.

Lovely place this, been a regular over the last few years. For the standard of the cooking the 3 courses for £27 is outstanding value. If you haven't yet been - go.

Maureen ChilversJuly 2nd 2013.

Ok Gordo So you are out and about in Cheshire these summer evenings. Try the newly revamped Church Inn in Mobberley. It is very good - food, service, surroundings etc. and on Saturday evening it was just perfect to sit outside - drink Pimms and chat, then go

Maureen ChilversJuly 2nd 2013.

...... inside for a lovely meal.

1 Response: Reply To This...
GordoJuly 2nd 2013.

it's on my radar now, thanks Maureen

AnonymousJuly 2nd 2013.

La Boheme is wonderful, i have been a regular for many years. the menu is fairly priced and the portions are superb. highly recommended. also the Church Green is amazing, Aiden Byrne is a genius

Kate BerminghamJuly 3rd 2013.

Great food review but no mention of what the room is like, clientele, staff etc..I have driven past this place and was dying to know what it looks like inside, and who eats here? I imagine lots of posh lymmers and tired post training footballers...please look up from the food next time!

2 Responses: Reply To This...
IanJuly 3rd 2013.

why do you care who else eats there?

Kate BerminghamJuly 4th 2013.

Because for me restaurants aren't just about the food...there is nothing i like better than eating gorgeous grub whilst earwigging other people's conversations and gossiping garrulously about what other diners are wearing. Otherwise I'd just buy his cookbook and eat at home....

Elizabeth CarmichaelJuly 3rd 2013.

This is indeed a super place and one to which other restaurants should aspire. We have been going for years and it is our benchmark place too. Other folk that go are very mixed - regulars are perhaps a bit middle aged but lots of family groups go (as you see in France of course) as well as young "incomers" to Lymm and district.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Kate BerminghamJuly 4th 2013.

Merci Elizabeth! I will give it a go..

Kris CullineyJuly 28th 2013.

Justified score if a little on the low side. I have more respect for chefs like Mr Troalen who are under the radar knocking out good classic food with little fuss. Whilst we have some in the Manchester area that have to go to the press to announce they have wrote a new menu or that they have bought new table cloths.

AnonymousJuly 30th 2013.

I ate here at the weekend - very very good. 14 is definitely a bit on the low side. I'll definitely be going back. As Kris says above, full respect to Troalen; the place was packed, so he's certainly giving people what they want.

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