Arotel restaurant " Agapes": "French cuisine ingredients: foie gras, duck filet" Antsirabe Restaurant Tip by Norali
Antsirabe Restaurants: 6 reviews and 11 photos
[Update May 2010: cannot guarantee the accuracy of my below comments anymore. Mangement has changed, strategy as well, seems things have worsened. Most important, Chef James has left the house. Fooding experience wouldn't be the same anymore. Have an idea: what about your recent Arotel experience to share with us ? Cheers!]
Antsirabe is a place for gourmets as it is provided with a wide range of fresh produce. It counts good chefs as well. Arotel's chief was from a cooking school in Lyon region. He seems to be very passionate about his job. You'll notice that when he happens to talk with people who enjoy food and who are keen to drive along the island to find the best ingredients. It was during one of those chats that I learnt that the chef used to meet up with his suppliers to talk shop, to get involved in the feeding himself (what to give to the poultry and what not, at which price, when is the best season to stock up the corn...). I even understood he could buy himself the crops for the ducks & let the breeder do the work. Then, he would pick the poultry products up when they are ready. He is unstoppable. Interesting talk ! You'd learn a lot with him :-). He is Chef James.
Businessmen and families are amongst clientèle. The whole setting is rather functional. The main room is the restaurant and next to it, a snack where they serve breakfast, sandwich... I love the tapestry in the main room.
Favorite Dish: French cuisine in general. I appreciated there freshness as well as the array of more sophisticated products, mostly European: foie gras, duck fillets and confits de canard as well as trouts.
The inventive chef loves research. March 2005, I tasted the smoked duck fillet. Man, that was something ! He was proud of it because the smoking process was a in-house one, something he elaborated with his team. With his staff, they made their own way in it... The result ? I had it as a starter: magret de canard fumé au melon (served with papaya slices). Similar combination as our usual smoked ham- melon summer dish.
Guess what I had for main course: magret de canard au poivre vert. Yep! I had my all-duck diner... :-)
I would love to try his soupe de mûres one day. When I was there, he was researching on it as well.
Taste there crayfish. I'm allergic to crayfish but sometimes, I manage to avoid the crisis. When I was kid, I ate Malagasy-style crayfish. Try this!
Off course, grilled zébu meat is OK. Green pepper steak as well...
Total bill for 3 persons: 39 700 ariary, worth 16 euros.
**Christmas supper: for Dec. 24 2005, buffet-style with duck products (I loved their foie gras with apricot slices - perfect combination of the soft texture and the sweet taste), lamb (gigot d'agneau), foie gras stuffed pigeon, Saint-Jacques... there were a wide range of dishes one could choose from. Sidedishes included vegetable gratin.
Dessert: Christmas-cake (both bûche & bûche glaçée), Ice-cream, soupe de pêche. I loved bûche glaçée but the peach soup was too sweet. However, I was greatly satisfied.
The Christmas buffet was slightly more expensive: 30 000 ariary/menu/person. Wine was not included, if my memory serves me well.**
Comparison: about average
Price: less than US$10
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