Chez Jules was previously a huge chain of restaurants which came crashing to the floor in 1998 due to the rapid expansion of the company. This time, Pierre is keeping the size more modest, starting with a team of four in this one restaurant.
As a fantastic opening offer, the food on Friday was free from 12 noon through till 12 midnight. We managed to pop along to see if the food and ambiance is as good as the 1990s Chez Jules.
The interior is basic but rustic, with tables and benches suitable for dining on your own or with a group of people. Candles are present on the table and lighting is dimmed in the evening.
It wasn’t particularly busy despite this free offer and we were seated at a table immediately. We were quickly offered pre meal starters of bread and butter, alongside sliced salami and a huge bowl of salad in a wonderful dressing.
The free offer did not extend as far as including drinks, but table water is always waiting for you. We ordered a bottle of Magners at £4.95 and a small house white wine at £2. Pierre has brought back his excellent wine choices which will only set you back £10 a bottle for a basic white, red or rose. Other more expensive options are available.
The menu for free food was simple, steak or fish. Both my dining partner and I opted for the steak, since that’s one of the main things Chez Jules was famous for back in the day.
I am a bit of a beef aficionado and can honestly say that this steak, despite it only being a skirt cut was mouthwateringly delicious as well as being cooked to perfection (rare). Neither of us required a steak knife as it was just so tender. The sauce was red wine and shallots with thyme and complimented the meat beautifully. The pomme frites were also perfect and the main course was over all too soon. The normal price for a similar steak to this one would be around the £10 mark.
Dessert was easy to choose as every option sounded delicious. We plumped for the chocolate tart and the banana crepes with caramel sauce. Most desserts are around the £3.50 mark.
The crepes and banana dessert were a force to be reckoned with. The caramel sauce was heavenly and the bananas served warm along with the crepes. The chocolate tart was also good, but because of the pastry, was slightly on the dry side with the supplied cream.
I hope that this Chez Jules becomes busy with its old atmosphere for which the restaurant was famous. Although this was only a sample of the menu, I am confident that the rest of the food will be of equal quality. Be sure to book ahead if you want to avoid a bench table.
You can find Chez Jules at 109 Hanover Street, telephone 0131 226 6992.
Suitable for disabled ? Unfortunately the restaurant is down a set of stairs