If you enjoy indulging on French menus but can’t seem to find any restaurant that serves the authentically French meals in Windhoek, you need not to jet of the Paris as all that is just as good in the city of love is finally here. It’s Le Petit Paris Restaurant and it is open on the Franco-Namibian Cultural Centre premises, 118 Robert Mugabe Avenue – all in a walking or driving distance.
Having opened their doors this week, the French-inspired restaurant will cater to your taste bud needs and at the same time provide a relaxing morning/evening for you and your loved ones. The restaurant held its grand opening on Monday evening welcoming food gurus and foodies to experience the unveiling.
Founded and owned by Arvan Carelse (head chef) and Gerschwyne Van Wyk, the restaurant sets to bring an authentic taste to the Namibian cuisine scenery. With its menu catering for both Namibian and French people.
Arvan Carelse, the head chef and co-owner of Le Petit Paris could not hide his excitement at the grand opening as he forecasted a great journey ahead. Carelse said that the restaurant is a French-culture centered thus it operates at the FNCC.
It offers a menu that is not too foreign or typically traditional for French people nor too foreign for Namibians thus giving diners a taste of both worlds. “The restaurant may be new but promises to deliver quality service in cuisine,” he said. The head chef is South African born and hails from a little village called Franschoek in Cape Town. His home town is French inspired thus it explains how his menus came about. He has worked in the U.K and Paris for a brief period and brings along his international experience to his restaurant.
Carelse says that many other chefs overlook the component of healthy eating and that people have created their lives around heathy centered meals. “I serve good food that is healthy too,” he said. Namibians can thus expect to be served with food that won’t alter their healthy lifestyles.
The restaurant offers a seasonal menu according to the fruits and vegetables available at the time. The co-owner placed emphasis on using local fresh produce. Le Petit Paris’s signature dish is hake fish baked in coconut milk, cucumber relish and coriander served with Jazmine rice and fresh herbs.
The restaurant serves a breakfast, dinner and dessert menu with a variety of drinks to choose from. Le Petit runs a daily special on meals. People that work close by can pop in and order a light quick meal. The meals are also offered on take away. In future, they will operate a deli from within the restaurant. This will cater for the working moms that want to wipe up a quick and delicious meal. Working women can have homemade jams and chutney and just add that to their dishes. “Tasteful meals in a can,” he said.
Soulful France music welcomes you in as you go up the staircase that approaches the front patio. The patio is arranged with red chairs and candles are lit as the night arrives. The front yard is filled with lash green vegetation and tall trees. A beautiful view is aired as you sit and reminisce in the open.
The restaurant has a second level which is where the main restaurant is located. One goes up with another set of stairs and upon entry you are welcomed by the restaurant staff that are seemingly polite and friendly and dressed in black and white. One immediately feels a sense of scenery change as you walk in. The antique door opens and it feels like you might be walking into a small French cottage or the set of a French movie.
The spaces are intimate and small yet big enough to enjoy the company of your friends and family. The restaurant is elegantly laid out with a bar area filled with the finest French wines and a front desk receiving all your orders. As you walk further in to the restaurant you are surrounded by beautiful French inspired paintings and portraits. They say that ‘less is more’ and the Le Petit Paris is nothing short of that. The table arrangement is very simplistic yet classy, with touches of black, white and red.
The windows of the restaurant have an ancient rusty touch to them and faces towards the Central Business District. A clear view towards the city is given as you feast and enjoy the company of your loved ones. As guest we were treated to a variety of complimentary drinks of our choice. Served with a range of in house platers to give us a taste of what is to be expected from the restaurant menu. The chef prepared a special appetizer designed to cater for vegetarians.
Be sure to visit Le Petit Paris, as it is open six days a week. On Mondays and Tuesdays it is open from 07h30 to 19h00. On Wednesdays through Saturdays it is open from 07h30 to 22h00. Le Petit Paris is your packaged French experience.