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Eating In
  LÉA, Maison Bleue, Bury St Edmunds
French restaurant enters the takeaway market with typical style and fine tastes
Lockdown or no lockdown, people are still enjoying fine dining. I know of one restaurant in West Suffolk regularly preparing takeaway
lobster thermidor and whole grilled Dover sole and chips for some well- heeled diners.
Clearly there is a market for upmarket ‘food to go’ so perhaps it’s not surprising Bury’s acclaimed French restaurant Maison Bleue has entered the fray with their eat at home LÉA range. These are fresh seasonal dishes, served in lovely glass containers and designed to be heated and eaten straight from the pot.
Their raison d'être? Well, here’s chef patron Pascal Canevet to explain: “We felt people were hungry for new flavours: simple dishes that they could serve anywhere and enjoy. Our LÉA’s are perfect for anyone looking for fuss-free, good food at the office or home.”
It’s also a venture with its heart in
recycling since the glass pots can be returned, and there’s a loyalty card with a free meal if you make a certain number of orders.
Normally this review column is based on a visit to a pub, restaurant or hotel, but we are all having to be more adaptable these days so here is our assessment of the LÉA home experience.
Having pre-ordered we collected our dishes (three courses for £19.95) early one midweek evening and rather splendid they looked, all neatly stacked inside an orange carry bag.
Once home you can eat some dishes cold or pop the jars in the microwave to heat up for a minute or two before serving. My Ham Hock Terrine, while tasty, may have been better presented on a plate. Somehow I feel this one is best enjoyed in the restaurant.
That said my wife’s Tiger Prawn Tabbouleh Salad was hugely enjoyed. “Lovely and fresh, not weighed down by
a heavy dressing and a dish I would not have tried at home so lots of plus points,” she said.
My main, Lamb Casserole, was a masterful combination of flavours, all Mediterranean vegetables and the tenderest of meat. Maybe the jar made the tastes even more intense. The Cod and Garlic Brandade was equally satisfying with good chunks of cod but perhaps it needed a vegetable accompaniment.
On to the desserts and a perfect creme caramel plus a Tiramisu, with big dollops of cream. Two indulgent ways to round off our meal.
Pascal says these chic takeaways have been a big success so expect them to continue even when Maison Bleue re- opens. It can’t beat the restaurant experience, but it’s the next best thing.
Richard Bryson
n Maison Bleue, 30-31 Churchgate St, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 1RG. Tel: 01284 760623.

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