French food – unusual setting – 75013
After coming across a couple of photos from their Facebook and Instagram pages, we really wanted to get down to Playtime, a boat on the Seine with a bar, restaurant, club and heated mini-swimming pool!
And it’s not far from our hotels! Here’s our review.
There are a few boats on the Seine that serve food, but not many have a decent reputation for fine dining and value for money. And then we came across the enticing menu for Playtime and an intriguing photo of youngsters frolicking in their swimming pool. Obviously, we had to go and take a look.
Moored at the foot of the Docks de Paris (where you’ll also find the French Fashion Institute, the Art Ludik Museum, the Wanderlust nightclub and other happening establishments), the boat is medium-sized with several spaces – the restaurant with two areas and tables down each side, a terrace on the roof and the aforementioned swimming pool at the back (open between lunch and dinner).
It has to be said – it’s a pretty sweet spot, with water, soft lighting, a little light music and even a little machine so you can charge your smartphone. Cool idea.
One word of warning though – Playtime is often booked by groups. On the night of our visit there was a birthday dinner with a 20-odd people, and another event happening at the back of the boat. We weren’t particularly bothered by them, but if absolute calm is what you’re after, Playtime may not be the place for you.
We decided to start off with a nice bottle of organic white wine, a mixed plate of cheese, figs roasted in balsamic vinegar (served with some soft blue cheese and black sesame seed crumble) and some cod accras (deep-fried fish balls).
The cheeses were OK but nothing to get excited about, but the figs were tangy/sweet and beautifully presented, while the accras stole the show with their delicious, crunchy saltiness.
For the main dishes, we chose a the vegetarian option – quite generously served and packed with colour, a ceviche of cod – one of the house specialities, served with a broccoli and seaweed mousseline, and crisps made from tapioca and green pepper (sounds good? It was), a prime cut of beef marinated in sate sauce – not bad at all, and a risotto-style paella – served with octopus and squid, a great mix of textures (although in our book, rice can’t be both risotto and paella at the same time).
You can see the effort put into presentation, and the menu has a few leftfield dishes that differentiate from other boats with their bland selections.
And as usual, we still had a little room left for dessert!
Our two choices were chocolate ganache, supposedly serve with beetroot sorbet (we could swear ours tasted of thyme) and a homemade rice pudding with pistachio nuts and caramel.
Again, carefully presented and tasty stuff!
We think Playtime is a cut above many of the boat-restaurants along the Seine, and they’re in a vibrant new part of town that just happens to be not far from our establishments.
The photos on their Instagram account make us hanker for newt year’s summer already, and we’ll definitely be back once the temperature starts to rise next year (perhaps even earlier, if we can get a spot in the heated pool…)
Playtime (here) is open every day of the week from midday to 2am (4am Fridays ans Saturdays). Closes 7pm Sundays
Swimming pool open from 4-7pm
To check out all our photos of Playtime, simply click here.