Le Petit Parisien respond to criticism

Note: This was left as a comment for the previous post, but I thought it deserved a post of its own. — Peter

Hello all.

My name is Matthew, and I am the FoH Supervisor at Le Petit Parisien.
I’ve been reading with horror some of the stories on this post, and would like to address some of the points raised, if I may.

Firstly, to Peter, the writer of this popular blog, you were correct that when we first opened, just over two weeks ago, we did not have any French or Belgian beer on tap.
Sadly, we are tied to Punch Taverns on our beers and ciders, and Punch’s only French beer is Kronenbourg, which we now stock in place of Carlsberg.
We also have (this morning in fact) installed Leffe Blonde, and Hoegarden, much to our excitement.

We are hoping to start a revolving selection of Real Ales (I am an enormous Real Ale fan), on our single beer engine, and some interesting Ciders on draft from the fridge. This will hopefully be ready by this weekend!

Thankyou for your well wishes, it does mean a lot to hear reserved judgement and constructive criticism! I am very glad that you enjoyed your steak baguette, we are very proud of the meat that our butcher provides- we have worked with him for many years.

Monkeycat: I am sorry that your Mixed Grill didn’t live up to your expectations.. The Parisien owner has assured me that it is something that one does see in authentic Parisien brasseries, and *I* can assure you that the grill is cleaned every evening, but I apologise if you way you were spoken to upset you- you’re quite right about us needing to listen to our customers!

Yak: Oh dear! There are only three staff members Front of House, including myself and the Owner, so it seems as though you
must have asked about the crepe to our young trainee barman.. I will arrange a staff meeting to discuss the menu in detail again. Also- I really do believe that our food does represent good value for money.. Everything we produce is fresh, made on the premises, and never frozen (well apart from the frites and the ice cream 😉 !).
Our Nicoise Salad has a fresh tuna steak on top, our Cote de Boeuf is over 1kg for sharing between two people and can be cut with a butter knife! I do hope you try us again soon, and haven’t been put off completely!

Copeywolf: I don’t really know what you mean by saying that we’re a gimmick.. We’re owned by a Frenchman (the ’small
parisien’ himself), and our Chefs are both French, one from Paris and the other from Algeria. I assure you they all speak French! I do not speak much French, but the Owner is teaching me slowly! We do now have Punch’s only French beer, as discussed above, and I can whole heartedly assure you that none of our food is ‘plain crepe’, unless you ask for one 😉 .

Vix: I’m so sorry! You seem to have had a dreadful experience! I suppose your feelings about the painting, interior design, and the staff are subjective, but I’m sorry that you hate it so much.. I am confused about how you could have waited an hour for an omelette(!), and have been told there was no sparkling water when we have cases and cases of it downstairs. This is all a mystery to me. However, it is entirely likely that our barman hadn’t heard of a St Clements, or even bitter lemon. He is young and has not worked anywhere before in his life. However, what he might have lacked two weeks ago in knowledge he makes up for in enthusiasm and hard work. We are giving him a chance and training him up; ‘Employ enthusiasm and teach skills!’, my father used to say!

Just a couple more things before I go (for fear of monopolising this post!!): I think Mark Dodds is right about hitting the ground running. We have experienced teething problems, and we are ironing them out. We are planning on rolling out some new menu items (FISH!!), a cocktail list and NHS discounts. We are also going to start opening our upstairs room for private hire, doing live Jazz on Sunday evenings, and getting our Algerian Head Chef to prepare delicious Cous Cous nights.

One last thing: It is very easy to read and write bad reviews of a place online. I speak to as many customers as I can, and as far as I can tell, nearly all of them are very happy.. I really am sorry for the bad experiences that some of you have had, and appreciate that some people won’t like that way we have decorated the place, but we DO care about what people think, and WILL respond to your feedback, so come in and see me (I’m the ‘non-french’ speaking guy with red hair) and we can have a a glass of wine and a chat.

Thanks for your feedback, hopefully I will have the time to be a regular visitor to the Camberwell blogosphere (I have lived in Camberwell myself for almost 4 years).

Sorry for taking up so much room!

Bye!

Author: Peter

Long-time resident of Camberwell, author of this blog since July 2004.

169 thoughts on “Le Petit Parisien respond to criticism”

  1. Ganapati rules!

    If you want some fine and well priced curry canteen fare then Chatkhara near Elephant is good, though hygiene isn’t the greatest.

  2. http://tinyurl.com/ojzt82

    Sounds fab. Shame it’s in SE15, but close enough for many Camberfellas though. Beats what I’m having for dinner! Look forward to giving it a whirl.

    Why are the 10 or so we’ve got so rubbish? It’s not fair! And I include JJ’s amongst them. In my own recent experience they’ve not so much gone downhill as fallen off a cliff. Hope it’s just me.

    Like Safa’s neons. Their only redeeming feature.

  3. Perhaps the well, or just the Eyechild’s news of the well from the groovy new Standard, will cure us of the titivating, niggling pettifogging about whose curried langoustines are better than whose steamed langoustines. After all, curried langoustines get so hot and drink so much water that they get steamed anyway in their own daftness.

    Catalan langoustines are obviously the finest, anyway. They are known as the “Route One” langoustine, no messing.

  4. Had JJs (delivery) last night. No sign of lost form.

    Ganapati is ‘nice’ but they are rubbish with kids

  5. Two I can highly recommend are Zest and New Diwarnian — been getting take aways from them for years now.

    Zest is owned by the guys who used to run Paprika, which was one of the best Indians in Camberwell I can remember.

  6. I had a doner takeaway from Mangals last night. That place is the best. Wrap style bab and very good, not a pitta affair with loads of acrid salad spilling out. “Real” lamb as opposed to elephant leg strips — though the latter has its place of course.

    Best bit was that they have the S London Press and Southwark News in the waiting area, so one can catch up on local matters while waiting for the grill master to do his thang.

  7. Apologies for being thick. Where on Church St is this Mangals of which you all speak…?

    Curry-wise, I’d go for JJ Caterers for home delivery, and Ganapati for dinner out(though no experience of going there with ankle biters — but the tables and benches are quite high and its probably difficult to get prams etc in).

    I keep forgetting about the Angels and Gypsies Tapas Bar. I shall look longingly for any sign that the newspapers masking the windows have been changed next time I pass…

  8. The JJ’s website shows they do bulk curry for the NHS and Holiday Inn. Mmmm.

    The food is OK though. Limited for vegetarians. Half the price of Ganapti.

  9. JJ’s are so distinguished, they cater for Hilton. Finest curried sausage you could ever get your lips around.

    Come on the langoustines of Everton! Tim Cahill earned his scars at Millwall. May he shine today.

  10. I’m with Yak: JJs for quick n easy takeout. Their nans and onion bhaji are fab. But Ganapati wins hands down for sit-down meal out.

  11. Re JJ’s over spiced if you like less spicy they’ll do it if it’s not pre prepared.

    NOW a bit of shameless self publicity:

    This week THE PUB TRADE’S Morning Advertiser published Britain’s:

    Top 50 most influential pub people

    Your very own local licensees, ME (The Sun and Doves), Steve Corbett (The George Canning) and Nicky Francey (The Sun and Doves as well) are at number 16.

    Now in its 8th year — The Morning Advertiser ranks the trade’s movers and shakers on the impact they’ve had on the industry in the past 12 months — and how they’re likely to affect it in the year ahead.

    1. Tim Martin chairman, JD Wetherspoon (3)

    2. Giles Thorley, chief executive, Punch Taverns (1)

    3. Ted Tuppen, chief executive, Enterprise Inns (2)

    4. Gordon Brown, Prime Minister (new entry), Alistair Darling, Chancellor of the Exchequer (6)

    5. Rooney Anand, chief executive, Greene King (5), Ralph Findlay, chief executive, Marston’s (5)

    6. Gary Landesberg, owner, Admiral Taverns (7)

    7. Michael Turner, chief executive, Fuller’s (35)

    8. John Hutson, chief executive, JD Wetherspoon (10)

    9. Adam Fowle, acting chief executive, Mitchells & Butlers (17)

    10. Simon Townsend, chief operations officer, Enterprise Inns (11)

    11. Willie Crawshay, managing director, Scottish & Newcastle Pub Enterprises (new entry)

    12. Jonathan Neame, chief executive, Shepherd Neame (13)

    13. Roger Whiteside, managing director, Punch leased division, Mike Tye, managing director, Spirit

    14. David Elliott, managing director, Greene King Pub Partners (15), Alistair Darby, managing director, Marston’s Pub Co (40)

    15. Nick Bish, chief executive, Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, Paul Smith, executive director, Noctis, Mark Hastings communications director, British Beer & Pub Association, Jon Collins chief executive, CGA Strategy (19)

    16. The Fair Pint Group Stephen Corbett, Mark Dodds, Nicola Francey, David Morgan, Brian Jacobs, Vince Power, Karl Harrison plus Greg Mulholland MP (new entry)

    17. Alan Parker, chief executive, Whitbread (new entry)

    18. Derek Andrew, managing director, Marston’s Inns & Taverns (20)

    19. Tim Sykes, chairman, Interpub, chairman, ALMR (25)

    20. John Grogan, chairman, All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group (27)

    21. Phil Dixon, Trade consultant (37)

    22. Paul Wells, chairman, Wells & Young’s (23)

    23. Lynne D’Arcy joint managing director, Admiral Taverns (21) Andy Clifford joint managing director, Admiral Taverns (21)

    24. Iain Holden. managing director, Sky Business (24)

    25. Prince Charles heir to the throne, Pub is the Hub patron (26) John Longden director, Pub is the Hub (26)

    26. Ian Payne chairman, Town & City Pubs and Bay Restaurants (30)

    27. Brian King. managing director, Trust Inns (28)

    28. Tony Payne, Roger Protz, Peter Coulson Trade, brewing and legal consultants (37)

    29. Mike Benner chief executive, Campaign for Real Ale (42)

    30. Clive Rayden chief executive, County Estate Management (29)

    31. The analysts Geof Collyer Deutsche Bank Jamie Rollo Morgan Stanley Mark Brumby, Blue Oar Securities Douglas Jack Numis Securities Paul Hickman KBC Peel Hunt (33)

    32. Jonathan Webster managing director, Greene King (GK) destination pubs (34), Jonathan Lawson managing director, GK local pubs (34) Mark Derry managing director, Loch Fyne Restaurants (34)

    33. Neil Robertson chief executive, British Institute of Innkeeping (new entry)

    34. Stuart McFarlane president A‑B InBev UK (36) Mark Hunter chief executive Molson Coors UK (new entry) Isaac Sheps chief executive, Carlsberg UK (new entry)

    35. Peter Hansen partner, Sapient Corporate Finance (31)

    36. Paul Nunny director, Cask Marque (38)

    37. Rufus Hall chief executive, Orchid Group (22) Mark McQuater chief executive, Barracuda Group (18)

    38. Justin Adams managing director, Greene King Brewing Company (40) Stephen Oliver managing director, Marston’s Beer Co (15) Nigel McNally managing director, Wells & Young’s (23)

    39. Billy Buchanan chief executive, London Town (new entry)

    40. Peter Morris managing director, Daniel Thwaites (new entry)

    41. Ann Elliott managing director, Elliott People (new entry)

    43. Oliver Robinson director, Frederic Robinson Chris Hopkins managing director, Hydes Brewery William Lees-Jones managing director, JW Lees Richard Kershaw, chief executive, Joseph Holt (new entries)

    44. Up and coming multiples Rupert Cleveley, Lee Cash, Mark Butler, Chris Gerard, Brian Whiting, Nigel Haworth smaller managed pub operators (46)

    45. Stephen Gould chief executive, Everards (47) Stuart Bateman managing director, George Bateman & Son (49)

    46. Jim Dickson chief executive, Brulines (48)

    47. Keith Bott past chairman, Society of Independent Brewers (new entry) Julian Grocock chief executive, Society of Independent Brewers (new entry)

    48. Steve Baker chairman, National Pubwatch (45)

    49. Jonathan Adnam chairman, Adnams (41)

    50. Feargal Sharkey chairman, UK Music (new entry)

  12. Feargal Sharkey?

    A good pint these days is hard to find.

    I know- a drink a little every day…

    Well done Mark. Again. Getting boring.

    Went of FM Mangal. Thanks all for a great recommendation.

  13. Top tip from your friend Phil G. The show at GX Gallery is really worth seeing. Ed Gray has done some superb stuff of S London and now he’s back from global travels.

    I went to Silk Road for the first time in a while. Not as good as last time but still interesting. It’s becoming even more of a niche place for Chinese 20 somethings, and one big group in particular made one hell of a racket. Still, it could’ve been worse — could’ve been a stag. I do like the Xinjiang fried noodles.

  14. Alan — Feargal Sharkey is one of a few punk musicians who realised it wasn’t going to last forever, and got himself into a managerial trade in the music biz; in his case the organisation that collects and distributes fees for recorded music licences for commercial premises, “mechanicals” as they are known in the trade. you wouldn’t cross him…

  15. Down on Church Street, people are sayin’
    The prawns are quakin’ an’ the langoustines prayin’
    Reachin’ out with their pincers long
    I am Bob Dylan an’ this is my song

    CHORUS

    Love walk and pub crawl
    They still drinkin’ lager down Milllwall
    Take me home to Camberwell
    Where I was bore, that’s all, what th’ hell.

  16. Now I’m going to pack my bags and leave, tainted love, tainted love…

    There was an enjoyable bicycle-themed demon on, demo rather, on Westminster Bridge tonight that closed the bridge to motor traffic. Climate Rush was the organisation, climate change was the theme. One of the Milibands is off to Bonn for a summit soon.

    The assembled vegan bipeds must have put the wind up the fat cats who returned to parliament today. Various Nordic tourist girls in their tiny denim minis, who probably live on rotting shark meat and whale steaks, looked on hungrily and healthily at the lithe creatures bobbing about to an excellent bike-pulled sound system.

  17. Now Dagmar’s in her painted wagon taking her tainted love to the limit (I know a lot about painted wagons having just spent a half term week in the midge infested but incredibly beautiful North Yorkshire Moors) I point out that if any sons or daughters of the Camberwell online fraternite are into ‘Runescape’ a close associate of mine, errrr my eldest son, is interested and has set up: http://realrunescapecheats.webs.com to help facilitate forward movement for beginners and ‘Noobs’ alike!

  18. Also tried FM Mangal’s at the weekend and was very positively surprised — their outside signage gives away no clue as to the rather lovely little restaurant within. Enjoyed greatly.

    On another note, we are planning to run Gay Cam Film Festival in November. Open to submissions now, so if any budding LGBT film makers are reading this, please visit http://www.gaycamberwell.com/filmfestival.html for details!

    (and if anyone wants to be a sponsor, let me know!)

  19. Has anyone seen any convincing evidence that mankind is responsible for climate change? If so then please post the link.

    I have seen lots of evidence that it is happening but none that proves we are responsible.

    I am concerned that causation and correlation are being confused.

  20. Alan — just go to Sainsburys or Morrisons on a weekend. All the proof you need. Too many people buying too many things, waddling out to their cars with bag after bag, and breeding, all the time breeding more and more. Me me me! Me and my kids dammit! One day it’ll be: I’ll fight you for that loaf of bread. How much longer can it go on?

  21. @Alan — the point is, we have already seen enough to know that Tom and Tina Tesco won’t alter their convenience routine one iota no matter what the consequences for the human race.

    Whether it means taking fewer flights, abandoning car ownership this close to the centre, reducing energy consumption or welcoming pedestrianisation/cycling initiatives which interfere with their concept of leisure.

    But since you ask, the precautionary principle applies.

  22. Alan, we don’t need convincing evidence we just need to apply logic.

    Earth is a self contained unit with an ecosystem currently in a state of self sustaining equilibrium following four billion years of volcanism, erosion, tectnic shifts and

  23. Alan, we don’t need convincing evidence we just need to look at the exponential growth of human interaction on the planet since the industrial revolution, the advent of steam power and electricity generation over what was going on before human activity.

    Earth is a self contained unit with an ecosystem which currently and for the past 10,000 years or so since the last ice age has been in a state of self sustaining more or less stable equilibrium following four billion years of volcanism, tectonic plate movement, subduction, eruption, erosion and gas exchange.

    Natural dynamically interacting geophysical planetary tensions have stabilised over unimaginably vast expanses of time to create an environment and ecosystems ideally suited to the sustenance and evolution of diverse organisms on this planet.

    Obviously we humans are part of this process but we are not a natural evolutionary progression of the planet in a geophysical sense.

    In the past century particularly we have abruptly interrupted any ‘natural’ progress of planetary evolution simply by our pumping ever increasing volumes of carbon into the biosphere. Because of our combustion of fossil fuels and our well established traits of land clearance for our use (errr, that’s global deforestation), the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased by about 35% since industrialisation.

    The logically inescapable consequence of humans being on this planet is that we are increasing atmospheric carbon. This traps heat and increases atmospheric temperatures globally.

    Increased temperatures melt ice. Melting icecaps and glaciers increase sea level. It’s like we’re in a bath with the plug in and the taps running. It’s all been there before, 40 million years ago sea levels were a lot higher than they are now. We’re all, well most of us, living within about fifteen metres of current sea level in already overcrowded conditions.

    There’s no getting away from it. The bath is going to overflow unless we stop pouring more water in. That means cutting carbon emissions.

  24. @Alan, we don’t need convincing evidence we just need to look at the exponential growth of human interaction on the planet since the industrial revolution, the advent of steam power and electricity generation over what was going on before human activity.

    Earth is a self contained unit with an ecosystem which currently and for the past 10,000 years or so since the last ice age has been in a state of self sustaining more or less stable equilibrium following four billion years of volcanism, tectonic plate movement, subduction, eruption, erosion and gas exchange.

    Natural dynamically interacting geophysical planetary tensions have stabilised over unimaginably vast expanses of time to create an environment and ecosystems ideally suited to the sustenance and evolution of diverse organisms on this planet.

    Obviously we humans are part of this process but we are not a natural evolutionary progression of the planet in a geophysical sense.

    In the past century particularly we have abruptly interrupted any ‘natural’ progress of planetary evolution simply by our pumping ever increasing volumes of carbon into the biosphere. Because of our combustion of fossil fuels and our well established traits of land clearance for our use (errr, that’s global deforestation), the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased by about 35% since industrialisation.

    The logically inescapable consequence of humans being on this planet is that we are increasing atmospheric carbon. This traps heat and increases atmospheric temperatures globally.

    Increased temperatures melt ice. Melting icecaps and glaciers increase sea level. It’s like we’re in a bath with the plug in and the taps running. It’s all been there before, 40 million years ago sea levels were a lot higher than they are now. We’re all, well most of us, living within about fifteen metres of current sea level in already overcrowded conditions.

    There’s no getting away from it. The bath is going to overflow unless we stop pouring more water in. That means slashing carbon emissions.

    On the other hand it’s probably far too late already so who cares. We missed our chance to be a civilisation that did not eradicate itself. We’re on the way out.

  25. Hot today.

    Can it be anything to do with the methane, carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide spontaneously and voluminously produced here at the crafty behest of a naughty, faux-naif garden gnome in Selborne Village, in the hope that it will waft sniftingly as a foul cloud of brown-to-yellow flatus over the Surrey homes of those haughty horticultural high-ups who snootily banned him from the Chelsea Flower Show?

    Pwoar!

  26. I made my first visit to Petit Parisien the other day. It was great. I really liked the way it has been decorated and the food and service were great. Big improvement on the Dark Horse in my opinion.

  27. So events in Westminster carry on apace — will we be seeing Prime Minister Harman (at least in a caretaker role) by the weekend?

  28. Harriet was a bit weak on the “Today” show this morning. But then all the top types speak that funny box-ticking, say-nothing lingo these days. Cameron has a weak chin. The global waters are rising around us, we’d better start swimmin’ else we’ll sink like a stone…

    I sat outside the Hermits Cave,
    David Bellamy came by, and,
    Walking through the little waves
    That break upon the sand,

    Said. “Don’t say I didn’t tell you so.
    Whose fault is it? The cows fart,
    The big whales blow, I don’t know,
    But politicans have puff down to an art.”

  29. Alan, you need to get ready. Stay fit, stay lean, learn to fight. If you have kids start training them like John Connor in Terminator.

    Wake up, man. Do you think we can keep on burying half-used goods in the ground forever? If you can afford it, buy a plot of country land and build a stash house of food and water.

    One things for sure, when it all starts to go wrong in a few years, SE5 will be one of the worst places to be.

    Good kebabs at Mangals til then though.

  30. Regeneguru — I look to you as a man who understands these things. Why did our council not allow room for a bike lane, or at least another 50cm, when they overly narrowed Walworth Rd? Do they seriously expect everyone will go to the TfL website and use their circuitous, though more pleasant, London bike routes?

  31. @PhilG

    For background, we see that Walworth Road planners did not neglect to protect local resident parking in side streets, with the result that visitor parking was embarrassingly “added on” to the pedestrianisation element of Walworth Road itself. This caused several cycle racks to be damaged by vans, tree branches to be ripped out and the place to continue to look like a dump. With the honourable exception of Baldwins, which would look as spectacular in a Sao Paulo Shantytown as in Marylebone.

    There are two schools of thought for catering for cyclists: (1) complete segregation and (2) planning for safely and effectively sharing space with other vehicles. The London Cycling Campaign goes for (2). Evidence shows that most cycling accidents occur at junctions or where cyclists join in main traffic from segregated areas, so there is some logic to this. But effective planning is key.

    You would expect Walworth Road to continue a similar logic to the Elephant & Castle plans. At E&C, acres of space are to be designated as shared between pedestrian and cyclist, which has been shown to work well elsewhere in the UK. E&C will become a buffer zone where pedestrians and cyclists can feel completely safe from the motorist threat that drives most shoppers to centres such as Westfield and Bluewater.

    However.

    Walworth Road cyclists are expected to share reduced road space with a constant stream of heavy goods traffic. The danger point zenith is doubtless the approach south with Liverpool Grove coming up on the left. Here, there is not even space for a cyclist and a Smart Car in the same lane, yet there is no discouragement to overtake in the form of signage, or cameras. At this point a 45mph Brewery-Landlord truck came close to taking me out of the business of life, much as their masters have come close to taking many an honest local publican out of the business of hospitality.

    Put simply, the needs of cyclists were not taken into account. Hold the front page.

  32. VOTE LABOUR. The cycle routes to the Elephant are excellent. There is no need for cyclists to wander up the Walworth Road talking to themselves and cursing the lorries. The new Walworth Road is teeming with all human life on the wide pavements. There is every kind of human confectionery there to enjoy.

    VOTE LABOUR. That will give a boot up the jacksy to the Daily Maily, why-oh-why, isn’t it awful, moral panickers who are treating the country like it is some tv talent contest. LABOUR and dem Libs should forge ahead together.

    [Sao Paulo, Reg, not Sau Paulo — you are thinking of T’ Pau the pop group or maybe dem Mau-Mau.]

  33. Yes. VOTE LABOUR. It’s good! A vote for Labour in tomorrow’s elections will be a shock to the system for everyone. No-one will be expecting it. The last thing the country needs at the moment is the slithering of Conservatives or the barking of UKIP.

  34. Dagmar wrote..“VOTE LABOUR. It’s good! A vote for Labour in tomorrow’s elections will be a shock to the system for everyone.”

    It’ll be a shock to the system of your kids when they realise they have to live for thirty years in poverty so as to pay back the money this total band of inepts has borrowed and waisted.

  35. VOTE GREEN

    We got a flier through. Idea is to plant fruit and nut trees around the place. Nice one.

  36. Fruit and nut trees are an excellent idea and incredibly appropriate for Camberwell, but we also need down to earth people. VOTE LABOUR AND WE’LL GET THINGS DONE.

  37. Local politicians from all local political parties were invited by the SE5 Forum to explain how the European Elections were relevant to Camberwell, and what their party offers.

    So far only Labour has responded. You can read the questions and responses here. Details of how other party representatives can respond are at the same location.

    I understand that SE5 Forum stickers will be placed at various points in central Camberwell to direct locals to the website, to debate why they should vote and who for.

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