Belfast Telegraph

Parisian brasserie boasts smoked salmon a la Glenarm

By Claire McNeilly

It's quite possibly the best salmon the French have ever tasted - and it's from Northern Ireland.

An up-and-coming restaurant in Paris is fishing in fresh waters by offering its discerning customers a little je ne sais quoi on the food front.

L'Entente, le British Brasserie, serves delicacies including Welsh rarebit and shepherd's pie, but it's the Glenarm organic smoked salmon that's really caught the critics' attention.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph during a busy Sunday serving, the establishment's owner Oliver Woodhead (40), who's been in the French capital for 20 years, praised the Northern Irish produce.

"Some of my customers have told me it's the best salmon they've ever had in their lives," he said. "It's very smoky. We hand cut it here ourselves. We serve it just with lemon and nothing else - except bread and butter of course - and it goes down a treat.

"We do it as an entree and as a main course and we do it with our scrambled eggs for Saturday and Sunday brunch and people love that."

He added: "All of our ingredients are French apart from salmon which is from Northern Ireland and the cheese, which is British."

The Co Antrim salmon recently received one of the highest accolades from the French edition of fashion magazine Vogue.

"Vogue Paris, the fashion Instagram account, posted our Eggs Benedict two months ago to a total of 3.8 million people," said Oliver, who is originally from London.

"It's the first time they've really ever done food and we had 12,000 likes within a day and a half.

"In English they said: 'For a perfect brunch go to L'Entente' and our brunches are very busy now."

L'Entente, which threw open its door almost 16 weeks ago, has been praised by French restaurant critics for its excellent food and innovative menu.

And it can already boast a host of prominent clients including the former president Francois Hollande and the iconic fashion designers Marc Jacobs and Karl Lagerfield.

Mr Woodhead said that unlike most other eateries in the country, which are shut on Sunday and Monday, L'Entente is open all day, every day, reflecting its Britishness.

"I'm going against the trend in Paris by being open in the afternoons and Saturday and Sunday nights," he said. "We are not just Anglo-Saxon in some of our dishes we're also British in our spirit and in the decoration."

Glenarm organic smoked salmon for starters will set you back €16 (£14), while a brunch comprising the tasty Northern Irish salmon and scrambled eggs costs €21 (£18).

Oliver added: "I'd tasted the salmon and liked it very much which is why I decided to work with Glenarm Organic Salmon Ltd when I opened the restaurant last November."

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