I love Kaeshelle. We were in the same French class throughout college but only started talking more in A2 bonding through our love (and struggle) for French! We’d go and watch French films in the French cinema in South Kensington it was cool! I’m sure we also surprised everybody when we said we were planning a holiday together, after all we really only started talking to each other earlier on that year. We went on another holiday the next year and we’re hoping to carry on this tradition! Check out her blog, she wrote about our last holiday together!
But anyways, we went to university and talk less, but whenever we’re back in London for long periods, we almost always meet up and catch up, and just make each other laugh all the time. This time, being the sensible students we were, we decided to meet up and just do work at the French library in South Kensington and go for a dinner afterwards. The revision was good until all I could think about was my tummy, she was hungry too. Phew, wasn’t just me. But where would we eat?? After frantically searching on Google and trying to find a place that would satisfy both our bellies and wallets, we settle for Raison D’être. They had good reviews.
When walking in, it’s so cool. There are these cool lightbulbs dotted all around the cafe, it’s like just strands of lights in each bulb, there’s cool modern wooden bits of decor and furniture. On the shelves on the wall are wooden crates supposedly for the breads and lots of bottles of different olive oils for sale. We were served by a man with a heavy french accent, YES! I chickened out of ordering in French and ordered L’halloumi (£5.50), a baguette consisting of artichoke, roasted peppers, halloumi, sundried tomatoes and za’atar. Kaeshelle ordered Ma Raison D’être (£5.50).
It arrived really quickly. I marvelled at how colourful our baguettes looked! The za’atar was very noticeable because there was a mountain of it. It tasted so good that even if a massive pile of it fell onto my plate, I’d start dipping my baguette into it. The tanginess from the sun-dried tomatoes helped counteract the saltiness from the halloumi, and I feel like the rich and smoky flavour from the za’atar tied the whole baguette together and offered a whole palette of flavours. I do love artichokes but I felt like it wasn’t really noticeable unless I saw it myself, and I love love love roasted peppers so when I saw how packed my baguette was with it, I was definitely a happy customer
Kaeshelle on the other hand did not experience my euphoria in the form of a baguette. It was almost laughable how oily her hands were from eating her baguette. I’m telling you she was this close before somebody started bottling up the stuff from her hands. The napkin under the baguette was soaked. When she opened up her baguette and showed me the end part of the baguette, there was not a white patch at all, it was drenched in the greeny yellowy oil. The only reason I could think for why there was so much oil was perhaps the waitress was gently drizzling the oil before she got distracted and accidentally poured half the bottle without realising. Honestly, I love bread and oil like the next person but I was horrified at how much there were! It was definitely not her reason to be.
Whilst eating, I marvelled at how French this was. I could hear people laughing and conversing in French, the workers were all talking hurriedly in French and outside there was a table of girls chatting away in French and smoking. Was I a prop in a French film? I’m not sure.
Overall, I felt like you definitely got what you paid for and more (oil for Kaeshelle) ! I left feeling full but also wanting to come back to try all the baguettes. Kaeshelle left full too, though I’m not sure if it was because of the baguette or the oil. I’ll definitely be back if I ever need a quick lunch and I am around in the area, not sure I’ll be tempted for Ma Raison D’être though.