From Nice to Saudi: a review of Le Comptoir De Nicole, Jeddah

A perfect slice of Nice…

Bright, airy and oh-so chic – Le Comptoir De Nicole’s latest post, found in the Jeddah Yacht Club and Marina is, in a nutshell, those three words. Step into a French home, where smooth archways separate the dining area and the bar. Scattered on the walls of the venue are delicate paintings.

A big no-no in etiquette rules is to lift your dinner plate and look at the bottom of the plate, at Le Comptoir, it is encouraged. Each of the plates is an original hand-painted piece brought from Italy. Such that each marking on the bottom points to which one-of-a-kind plate you dine on. Blue plates represent the water, while yellow is the sun and red is the coral.

Intricate little details such as this paint a true picture of love and appreciation for the South of France through the eyes of restauranteur Nicole Rubi.

The homely restaurant serves up a unique combination of Italian and French cuisine, thanks to its Nicoise roots. A marrying of cuisines that makes all the sense in the world.

Something that always stands out to me at a restaurant, that is make or break of a good experience, is the service. At Le Comptoir de Nicole, it was unmatched.

Serving us for the day was Cinthya, an Argentinian woman who knew the menu like the back of her hand. Cinthya was funny, friendly and made an already wonderful experience that much more memorable.

Leaving it in the hands of the experts

Entrusting our late afternoon and stomachs in the hands of Cinthya. We are not disappointed by the immaculate presentation of the dishes brought to our table.

Locally sourced seabream crudo salad topped with florets of avocado puree, the thinly sliced fish is the focal point of the dish.

Brought with it, is a fresh burrata salad, where the soft cheese is delicately placed in a tomato gazpacho, a nutty and fantastic crunch is welcomed by the caramelised pistachios.

A while later the main dishes are brought to our table. Locally sourced seabass surrounded by bite-size pieces of fried artichoke, placed atop are fresh cherry tomatoes. The presentation of each dish alone has us in awe of the beauty of the dishes. Loup de Nicole the signature seafood dish we’re told.

With it, cote du boeuf, Australian Angus ribeye served with what could only be described as some of the best bearnaise sauce we’ve tried in a while. Freshly prepared in-house gives it that homemade zing.

I cannot end the review without explaining the flair that went into the desserts. Prepared fully at the table, the tiramisu is created with love.

Ladyfinger biscuits are coated with espresso before Cinthya, our now pastry chef, works to whip the mascarpone cheese before layering it on top of the ladyfingers and dusting with cocoa powder.

Masterfully she presents it to us. Naturally, we also delight in pain perdu, as no French meal is complete without it. Crispy on the edges with just the right amount of gooiness in the middle, a beautiful end to a beautiful meal.

What’s On verdict: It’s difficult to put into words how exquisite and pristine Le Comptoir De Nicole truly is, from entry to exit the restaurant oozes a light and happy energy.

Le Comptoir De Nicole, Jeddah Yacht Club and Marina, Al Kurnaysh Br Rd, Ash Shati, open Sun to Thu 6pm to 1am, Fri and Sat 2pm to 1am. @comptoirdenicole.sa

Images: Provided