So we have just finished our first week of "soft" opening.
It was really great to see things coming together:
Serving our first customers; trying to understand how they feel.
I had been thinking about my dream restaurant for years. Somewhere I could go very often with great food, great service- and without the massive bill at the end of the meal. I really wanted to make the experience of eating in French restaurant available to a wide range of people.
I have had to convince Roberto and Damian to install and offer free filtered sparkling and still water. I have always found revolting going to a restaurant and only being given the choice of mineral water. So many people are still ashamed to say : Tap water please!
Well in my dream restaurant we offer still & sparkling FOC!
Also my dream restaurant should have waiting staff being there for you. They should be gracious, courteous- almost trying to seduce you! The staff needs to be fancied by customers in order to create a certain feeling- it is not always easy but we try very hard.
In the kitchen meanwhile, we have to be very cautious not to go too far. So it was back to what I know we can do best-cooking simple food with wonderful ingredients. I hope this is what we managed to do during our first week.
One last thing before I end this first week: everyone who worked at the restaurant during our first week has done an amazing job. I am so proud of all them. They are really showing a lot of commitment to the restaurant and I just hope that I'll be able to pay them back when they need me.
Roberto has been wonderful- his wine list proved to be exactly what I had in mind- fairly priced and surprising- not too french minded and open to the world.
Damian is really the most promising restaurant manager of his generation. I have no doubt about that. His attention to details is unbelievable- and he knows everything- from cheeses around the world to Service á la Francaise! I also think that he looks really good in his new suit!
Ready for a portrait from Pierre & Gilles....
Same commitment in the kitchen- hard and serious work.
The thing I am most proud of is entering into business partnership with Gerard.We have no backers- just the two of us and that is really wonderful!
We did it in Bangkok- we are doing it again in London- and I think that we compliment each other very well. Time will tell but I have a funny feeling that it will work out very fine.
Only perseverance and hard work take you to the moon.