‘I LOVE YOU!!!!!’ shouted my boyfriend, across the table on Friday night.
‘Aw, I love you too babes!!’ I shouted back, picking my nose, focused on my menu.
Then I looked up, and realised … he wasn’t talking to me. He was talking to the bottom of our waitress, Nadia.
Yeah, so on Friday night, I finally got to check out Chez Elles, the new Frenchie on Brick Lane.
Sprinting in the rain down London’s least ambiguous road towards Aldgate East, I wondered what type of chutzpah-dick people would have the nous to open a French bistro next to a million curry houses?
‘There better be a USP other than good moules frites’ – I said to Ben.
Then, as I burst through the door of the restaurant, I was confronted by two of the sexiest USPs I have ever seen in my life.
‘BONNNNNUIIIIIIIIIT’ – they chimed. Oh ma ggggahhhhhd.
Basically – Nadia Brahim and Lili L’Hôte, could open a Thorpe Park on The Kings Road and they’d make a killing. Their story is fun. Old friends who came to England eight years ago, working together on the Eurostar train. Bien Sur! And they’re hot. Really hot. And I’m pleased to say, so is the food. Chez Elles is a bloody SAUNA.
It’s positively theatrical. You can’t hide there. I know you wouldn’t really want to, but if you did, you can’t. It’s just a long gangway of tables which Nadia and Lili flit between making sure everyone is OK.
‘Every-sing is OK??’ Nadia sings, leaning in, perhaps holding on to one of your shoulders as she wiggles her bum in the face of the diner behind. I’ve never seen such satisfied customers as the ones at Chez Elles.
I love my French bistros to be like Rachel Khoo’s kitchen; Playfully lit, a bit cramped, verging on untidy, but also cosy and this is what Chez Elles is. Talking with a friend on Sunday, we discussed that Nadia and Lili could potentially ruin your meal with how beautiful they are, but you’d have to be a massive prick to let that happen. If Ben feels like Nadia needs to hear those three words, who am I to stop him? As long as I get a tub of aioli, I’m cool.
The menu isn’t brimming with stuff, just the usual things you want to see on a French menu; snails, moules, duck, steak. They’re particularly fond of their steak tartare. Lili bless her reminded us a few times:
‘The bif ‘as no nerfs or strrrringy bits!’ which we were more than happy to hear, so we ordered one of those which was, unsurprisingly, awesome.
You know what, the moules frites are a USP here. They were plentiful, big, juicy and you feel compelled to pick up the little bowl they’re served in and drink from it. Don’t do this while your boyfriend is still looking at Nadia’s bum though, because then you’re giving him the perfect excuse to do one of those mental comparison things, where she’s not drinking creamy garlic sauce from a bowl like a monster, but you are, and you just look disgusting.
So, I reckon go here! Yes! Because I’m going back soon.
Ben’s been back a lot. Since Friday. I think he’s there now. I’m just gonna give him a call. Ben? Hello???
Chez Elles is at 45 Brick Lane, E1 6PU