Le Boudin Blanc: An unwelcome step back in time

The last time is visited Le Boudin Blanc was a decade ago. It felt dated then, and even more so now. Clearly the place must be doing something right since it was packed when I visited on a recent weekday lunchtime, but to my mind the place demonstrates almost everything that is bad about restaurant culture. Time has moved on. This is the not the 1980s and when I go out I don’t especially want to feel as if I am returning to this era. To list my grievances about Le Boudin: decor, menu, food and service. Begin with the former and maybe the rustic let’s-pretend-we’re-in-France look works for some (the nostalgists), but surely we’ve all moved on from wanting to ape ‘Allo ‘Allo. I thought the placed really could have benefited from a lick of paint too. Next, let’s take the menu: uninspiring would sum it up. Pea soup, steak and lemon tart anyone? Or maybe goat’s cheese salad followed by guinea fowl? I was the unlucky recipient of the latter pairing. My starter consisted of beetroot and tomato segments that exhibited less flavour than comparable items from a supermarket, but at a multiple of the price. Furthermore, the quantity of cheese was stingy to the extreme. Onto the main and had I not been told, then to have identified the meat as guinea fowl may have been a challenge. Oh, and the reason I didn’t mention pudding earlier was that the service at Le Boudin was so excruciatingly slow that I had to leave for another commitment before there was even time to contemplate dessert. It will certainly be more than a decade before I consider returning.