When you arrive in front of Auguste, its exterior doesn’t exactly scream “restaurant.” The black door and window frames, closed window blinds and dim ambiance accentuate only a single, small detail – an electric blue sign Auguste. If you try to peek in you’ll see nothing but a short, white wall that blocks the view of the interior. Anyone would’ve easily walked pass this place without knowing this little space hides a fine dining restaurant.
Once inside the door and around the white wall – the difference cannot be starker. The small space inside is buzzed with chatters from customers dressed in suits and dresses filling up every table (office people taking a lunch break, I assume?), with none of the aloofness you feel from the outside.
Specializing in modern, “happy chic” French cuisine, Auguste is a one-Michelin starred restaurant. Its head chef, Gaël Orieux, specializes in bringing to the table a combination of ingredients from the land and sea, his passion for seafood stemming from his Breton origins.
Even in an expensive city like Paris, there are a handful of relatively affordable Michelin restaurants, especially one-starred ones. I came across Auguste after literally Googling “affordable Michelin restaurants in Paris.” Amongst many other options, Auguste stood out to me for its reasonable price and numerous positive reviews. A set lunch for an entrée, plat and dessert costs €37, which is a steal.
Here is a breakdown of the 3-course lunch. And you know it’s a legit restaurant when the menu names are long AF.
Oeuf de poule nacré, aigre douce de carottes jaunes, crumble au vieux parmesan
Pearly chicken egg, sweet and sour yellow carrots, parmesan crumbles
Soft, wispy scrambled eggs sit in the bottom of this spectacular-looking bowl, topped with a light cheese mousse that is slightly foamy to the touch, highlighted with sliced yellow carrot pieces and buttery parmesan crumbles. In the middle rests a pearly, still-runny yolk that pops when you cut through it, pooling out to form a beautiful, liquidy mess. Such a creative execution of ubiquitous ingredients that tastes even more impeccable when dipped in some bread.
Lotte et calmar, rougail de tomates grappe, condiments « poivrons et gingembres »
Monkfish and squid, rougail cherry tomatoes, pepper and ginger sauce
The plat consists of pieces of cut squid and a small filet of monkfish, spooned over with a warm sauce spiced with ginger and pepper. The cherry tomatoes and shallots are sautéed till soft and translucent, absorbing all the fat and aroma of the sauce. I cut a piece of the fish, dipped it in more of the sauce, put it in my mouth, and was slightly taken back by the taste that was reminiscent of Asian flavors, bringing me back to homecooked meals in Hong Kong.
Porc fermier, réduction de pomme à cidre, girolles, poireaux crayons et miso aux noisettes
Farmer’s pork, reduced apple cider, mushrooms, leeks and miso with hazelnuts
This is the other plat option that my friends, Louise and Oscar, got. They found it absolutely delicious.
Soufflé Grand Marnier, sorbet fromage blanc
Grand Marnier soufflé, fresh cheese sorbet
Light and airy, the souffle was baked with a beautiful dome, and melts in your mouth with an unforgiving kick of Grand Marnier, a liquor of bitter orange and sugar. The sorbet fromage blanc, literally translates to “white cheese sorbet,” is what happens when tangy frozen yogurt meets creamy gelato. Personally, I would pick the sorbet over the souffle, but they go well together like apple and cinnamon. A warm, sweet way to wrap up a delicious lunch.
If you’re looking for quality French cuisine without breaking the bank, you should seriously consider getting lunch at Auguste. Make sure to make a reservation!
Friendly reminder: Don’t go to the wrong Auguste restaurant. There’s another place with the same name in Bastille but it’s a completely different restaurant. Double check your app when you type in “Auguste.” Because guess who made the dumb mistake?
Phone: 01 45 51 61 09
Address: 54, Rue de Bourgogne, 75007 Paris
Closed Saturday and Sunday.