Going to Chez Lanchois is a bit of an adventure. Who could expect such a remarkable restaurant hidden in the outskirts of an industrial area? Chéri looked at me with a puzzled look when I took him to the hangar in the Parc Aquatechnique in Sète. He seriously thought I had lost it this time. But, as we walked towards the Étang de Thau, this unique restaurant right at the edge of crystal-clear water revealed itself.
You have to know about Chez Lanchois to find it- there are no signs to lead you to this restaurant located in a former boathouse. The space is a pleasant mix of recycled wood, green plants and cheerful paper lamps. Chéri and I went for lunch this time and the perfect weather accompanied us. So we happily sat outside while the view on the Thau Lagoon, Mont Saint-Clair and Sète unfolded gloriously in front of us. No sign of food yet, but with a glass of white wine we were already in holiday mode! It’s also worth going for dinner so that you can watch a stunning pink sunset as a bonus.
Chef Joshua Lanchois is the namesake of the restaurant. He and his team offer a minimalist menu with some surprising options. You can choose between three starters (10 euros each), three main courses (22 euros each) and/or four deserts (7 to 9 euros each). We usually order different dishes so that we can try as many new flavours as possible. However, this time we chose the exact same menu. As a starter, a delicate creamy soup transformed into a piece of art with a giant beetroot flavoured ice cube melting in it. With the addition of tempura zucchini flowers, it was an excellent way to start our meal.
The main course was seriously moreish as well. The cod, steamed in a banana leaf, came with a coconut sauce and seasonal vegetables. The side-dish was delightfully prepared rice, brimming with all kinds of flavours. The dessert that followed looked like a fruit soup but was, in fact, a divine chocolate ganache. A fresh raspberry coulis with a hint of piment de l’Espelette topped it off and turned out to be a match made in heaven. So there you go, another secret restaurant revealed. However, maybe you want to keep it for yourself…