Restaurateur Pierre Levicky has been on the scene in Edinburgh since 1988. Chez Jules opened its doors in 2009 on Hanover Street. As part of the Pierre Victoire restaurant chain, Chez Jules aims to offer diners traditional French food in the city center at affordable prices.
It was a busy Saturday night when I arrived with 5 fellow diners. We were shown to our table in an attractive position between the main entrance and the toilet. Despite this there was a bit of a feel good factor within the restaurant. The room was lit only by candles and the furniture and décor was basic but rustic which gave a real traditional feel.
The house wine was delivered and served in small glass tumblers rather than traditional wine glasses which really added to the authenticity. A large bowl of salad leaves with a well balanced French dressing arrived accompanied by bread, salami and olives while we browsed the menu. This was a nice touch however it was slightly overshadowed by the time it took for the waitress to take our order.
For starter I shared Le Crotin De Chevre Grille. This was grilled matured goat cheese on toast with walnuts and a honey, balsamic and sesame dressing. The goat’s cheese was warm and creamy, the walnuts gave the dish a texture and earthy dimension and the dressing brought the ingredients together. A simple yet very tasty starter.
Le Crotin De Chevre Grille
One of my fellow diners had ordered Le Confit De Canard au Thym Frais Et a L’ail which I also tried. Sauteed home made confit duck leg with fresh thyme and garlic. The meat was tender and the mustard accompaniment was delicious.
One complaint after we finished our starter was being told to hold on to our cutlery for the main meal as they didn’t replace it.
Le Confit De Canard au Thym Frais Et a L’ail
I have to admit I did get slight food envy over the main course. I had the half Scottish Lobster grilled with garlic butter and flambé brandy. It was not what I ordered that gave me food envy, but the portion size! Two fellow diners had ordered the whole Lobster and after tasting one mouthful I wished I had too. Fresh juicy sweet Lobster with an aioli that was heavenly. This was cooked to perfection using ingredients to their full potential and served along with shoestring fries that were seasoned to perfection.
Whole Scottish Lobster
Half Scottish Lobster
For dessert I opted for the traditional French Crepe Suzette with Brandy, Lemon and Orange. The thin pancakes were soaked in the brandy giving it a very grown up taste and served with ice-cream which added sweetness.
French Crepe Suzette
Throughout the meal the waitresses were friendly however there were many occasions we had to wait for long spells without being seen to. As we tried to get someone’s attention for the bill we noticed two of the waitresses eating behind the bar area. I appreciate it was late but they completely ignored us while they tucked into their food. I always feel that when you are out paying for food and service you should be able to relax and enjoy the company of your friends rather than having to try for a long time to get the attention of the staff so this really disappointed me.
I should also point out that if you are ever sat down in front of the toilets I would ask to be moved elsewhere. I wouldn’t go as far as to say it spoiled the meal but we did get the occasional whiff which was really off-putting.
The food at Chez Jules is great and does what it sets out to do; classic French food at affordable prices. It is somewhere I will definitely return to for the food but I will expect a laid back attitude of service. During lunch they offer three courses for £9.90 seven days a week which I think I will have to try.
Bill for six: £220 (including 3 bottles of wine and coffees)
Food: Classic French