Restaurant review: Oui Madame, Stoke Newington, N16

Oui Madame, in Stoke Newington: Gallic flair in spades Pic: Cecile Gabriel

Oui Madame, in Stoke Newington: Gallic flair in spades Pic: Cecile Gabriel - Credit: Archant

A splash of Gallic flair has landed in Stoke Newington in the form of Oui Madame: a hip new joint with lashings of garlic, fine wine and more than a soupçon of Parisian weirdness.

And it is very French indeed –the atmosphere (and the service) is slow, relaxed and informal, the menu is well stocked with fare francais and on our visit there was clearly some kind of do downstairs; or at least lots of well-dressed people in extravagant hats were kissing each other on both cheeks. It was like being in Montemarte and I half expected to see a chap in a stripey jumper cycle past with a string of onions round his neck.

Stereotypes aside, the cocktail list comes with a few classics and some more adventurous inventions – both the Oui Madame and Monsieur were excellent – while the menu is divided into a selection of sharing plates and three course, fixed price affair for £20.

This is none of your crossover cuisine – it’s all unashamedly unreconstructed French favourites.

We went for the fois gras – predictably smooth and decadent, smothered on crusty bread – and the baked Camembert – always a cheesy treat, unfortunately not served piping-hot enough on this occasion. The steak tartare was perfect – seasoned to within an inch of its life, while a lack of the salmon carpaccio meant we had the avocado and crab, which was wonderfully creamy but lacked a bit of flavour.

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While the food portions weren’t enormous, it was all rich enough to leave us more than satisfied.

The wine list was small, yet perfectly formed; as the French are so keen on saying, “life’s too short to drink bad wine”.

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There’s a very cool vibe about Oui Madame. Not only is it a great place to eat, they regularly host live jazz and the like, and they even have a sofa on the pavement outside. Finishing up our bottle of wine and watching the world go by was a very pleasant way to end the meal. And there’s nothing else like it in Stokie – if you like French food (and who doesn’t) bon appétit.

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