Couqley review

Hearty and wholesome cuisine that’s child-friendly at this charming French bistro


Les enfants are learning Français this year, so when they hear there is a restaurant where they can sample some traditional cuisine, they clamour to try it out.

With dictionaries tucked under their arms, we seek out this cute little bistro in JLT. It’s not the easiest to locate, but it’s well worth the hunt.

We dine on a Friday afternoon and the place is packed. On arrival we’re quickly marched to our table, right outside the slightly chaotic kids’ area. The kids hastily choose pasta in tomato sauce with a side of meatballs, before charging off into the fray.

The children’s menu is brimming with healthy, hearty options from burgers to grilled chicken, which is a welcome change from the usual breadcrumb-coated dishes we so often encounter.

The pasta arrives in perfect portions for little tummies with bite-sized meatballs that cause minimum suspicion. The crusty French bread is used to mop up the fresh tomato sauce and is guarded jealously from prying adults nearby.

We can’t resist the moules frites and we silently applaud when they come to the table served in a gigantic pot, slowly steamed in garlic.

The frites are perfect – crisp and skinny and served in a quaint paper cone. We also try the salad de chèvre. The combination of rocket, apple slices and juicy orange segments works perfectly with the rich goats’ cheese.

We can’t help thinking about dessert as the kids dig into their vanilla ice-cream (free of charge as part of the kids’ meal deal).

The tarte du jour happens to be a strawberry concoction, with custard and plenty of glazed fruit to indulge our sweet tooth. We also opt for a the tarte fines aux pomme, which is deliciously crumbly with sharp apple. After cappuccinos to wash it all down it’s time to say au revoir, but we’ll return.

The bill (for four)
1x salad de chèvre chaud Dhs73
1x moules frites Dhs143
2x children's pasta with meatballs Dhs96
1x frites Dhs23
1x tarte fine aux pommes Dhs37
1x tarte du jour Dhs37
1x bottle still water Dhs22

The bottom line
Top kids’ choices and great desserts.

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