French dining at Chez Max!
Having a toddler has its advantages. Especially for a child who loves food, eating out is now our chance for some peace and quiet. These days, my husband and I try to go back to the places we loved to dine before my son was born. Restaurants and cafes with very limited space used to be a far distant memory. And I feared I might need to wait for my son to become a teenager before we can go back. Lucky for us, that didn’t happen. My son is a toddler who loves food and that allowed us to go back to places such as Chez Max at Baggot Street to dine for a meal!
Last Sunday, we went out for lunch and made a reservation to be safe. To be honest, I think dining at Chez Max for lunch doesn’t require a reservation as it was not too busy on Sundays. We arrived shortly after 12:30 and the place were almost empty. We were greeted by a cheerful guy (probably the manager on duty?) cleaning the door and offered us a table immediately. He set up a high chair for my son but not before he chatted with him for a bit!
Since it wasn’t busy, we requested to pull an extra table since we will order food for our son. And they obliged without issues. My son ate his lunch earlier at 10:30 AM but he usually have another snack around 1 PM. Chez Max doesn’t seem to have any kid’s meal and I wasn’t sure if he can have French cheeses at this age (he is 2.5 years old). So I planned to get the Croque Monsieur for him. For myself, I planned to have a filling starter and a light main meal. I had my eyes on a cheese platter for dessert so I wanted to have some space for that. And of course, a cold glass of Riesling, too!
The same guy took our orders. He even gave us a fair bit of warning as it seemed we were ordering too much food (LOL!). We knew we might bring some food for takeaway but we didn’t care – we missed having a meal here! He was actually surprised we ordered a Croque Monsieur for our son (he kept telling us it was BIG). And now as I write this, I should’ve asked if they have a kid-friendly meal!
Our drinks arrived shortly. It was relaxing to have this meal in this ambiance that made us miss Paris. We were still chatting on which area in France we should visit next when our starters arrived!
I loved the chutney paired with the rabbit terrine. Probably it was mango chutney and the sweetness definitely gave the terrine a boost in flavor. I was not sure whether I was eating it properly, but realized the terrine sticks better if I slather a bit of chutney first on the bread before putting the terrine. Yum! The side salad was also well-seasoned and crisp. I enjoyed it so much, I finished the salad, too!
Shortly after we finished (my husband had onion soup), they took our cutleries and empty plates. They left the plate for the Croque Monsieur because my son was still busy eating.
A few moments later, our mains arrived. I ordered the Plat du Jour (dish of the day) of Eggs Benedict (poached eggs in a bun) with smoked salmon and Hollandaise sauce. Got surprised to see a massive serving when they handed my plate. It made me regret I finished my starter’s side salad as I have another pile of fresh salad on my plate.
I loved my mains especially the generous serving of Hollandaise sauce. The eggs were poached properly – cooked through egg whites with runny yolks. And the smoked salmon seasoned perfectly.
Unlike the starter, it took a bit more time for us to finish our mains (my husband ordered Moules Frites). The Hollandaise sauce was really heavy and at this point, I knew I will NOT order a cheese platter anymore, LOL! My son finished one slice of bread (he had two) from the Croque Monsieur and grabbed a few fries from his Dad’s main course instead of finishing his own food.
We were definitely full but wanted something to end the meal. My husband badly needed a double espresso and I wanted to drink a cup of tea, too (huhu, bye bye cheese). We ordered one Creme Brulee to share, though!
I was so pleased with our recent meal at Chez Max. Our food was great and the ambiance superb. I look forward to more enjoyable meals in the future!