My Korean friends told me that in Korea, rather than every restaurant serving a range of different dishes, you tend to find local establishments that feature a dish they're good at. For instance, one corner store might be the bees knees in chicken broth whilst its neighbour is the expert in bulgogi stew. When you dine there, that's what you order. I always liked that as an idea... the concept of offering one thing on the menu but doing it very well. This is probably why Les Bubbles intrigued me right from the start.
Steak and chips is a winner any day of the week but at Les Bubbles, it is the constant star of the show. Aside from a choice of three sauces, your meal is set for the day with the signature steak, soft leaf salad and bottomless fries.
There are daily specials for those who are looking for vegetarian, fish or chicken options, but honestly, if that's what you're in the mood for, skip Les Bubbles and head somewhere more suitable. You'd be missing the point entirely to come here and not order steak.
Hush money cocktail
Marc and I didn't have a booking but because it was a Tuesday night, we got a table without drama. We ordered some drinks to start with. Marc had a glass of beer whilst I chose a weekday cocktail (doesn't bode well for my new years resolutions about drinking less). My cocktail was strong and fruity and easy to drink.
Bread, butter and salad starters
We were then brought out a bread basket with butter and a serving each of salad greens. I was a bit confused as to whether or not we should wait for the steak to arrive to have with the salad but I saw other diners eating it on its own so we did too. The bread was simple but the French butter (President brand) was a delight. I didn't expect much from the salad but it was tastier than it looked and held its own as a solo dish. The vinaigrette was super tangy and I liked the chopped spring onion and crunchy walnut.
Steak frites with bearnaise sauce
Our steaks arrived not long after we finished the salad. These are recommended to be served medium-rare and that's what both Marc and I went along with. He chose the cafe de paris sauce and I went with the bearnaise. I tasted both sauces and thought they both did an excellent job of complimenting the steak.
Unfocused bite shot showing how nicely cooked my steak was
I knew Les Bubbles was Parisian-style so I wasn't expecting any thick rib eye-type cuts. I've had a bad experience with thin steak in the past at the no-longer existent Bistro One Eleven so I had apprehensions about how this version at Les Bubbles would be. I needn't have worried. Although these cuts are thin, they manage to be succulent and perfectly cooked. I can't even guess how they managed to cook such a thin slice of meat to just the right pinky blush of medium-rare but the chefs achieved just that.
Something about Les Bubbles that excited me more than it should have was its promise of bottomless fries. It must be the insatiable glutton in me or maybe the value-craving Asian but I love the idea of bottomless anything. It turns out that the amount served to us with our steak was more than enough so we didn't even engaged the bottomless nature of it. They were delicious fries (fresh, hot, crispy and well-seasoned) so if someone has a better appetite than me, I'm sure they can take advantage of it.
I think Les Bubbles is great in concept and execution. Obviously the idea of a steakhouse that basically only serves steak is not going to appeal to you if you're a vegetarian or don't eat steak, but for those who do love a good cut of red meat, this place dishes up the goods. If like me, you get overwhelmed with choosy menus, you'll be relived to learn that Les Bubbles only makes you choose the sauce to accompany your steak. We saw there was quite an appealing dessert menu too but we chose to get our sweet fix elsewhere.