As promised in my last LEGO review of Assembly Square, this month we continue my new-found addiction with a look at the sumptuous LEGO Parisian Restaurant. Before we begin, please note that this review is peppered with affiliate links, which mean that if you click on them and then make a purchase I may earn a small fee. This does not affect the price you pay. Legalese out of the way, let’s get cooking…
I already have a patisserie in Assembly Square, so popping a restaurant next door seemed like a good move. In my head, the chefs are brothers with a friendly rivalry. The restaurant chef is called Albert, I know this because LEGO kindly included a sign with the restaurant. I also have an enormous croissant, which is possibly my only complaint with this build, the food is a little out of proportion. See into the kitchen in the photo below, where that lovely turkey has been perfectly cooked, but not in that oven. Although I was delighted to see LEGO’s usual attention to detail as each drumstick pulls off. Note also the intricacy of the tiled floor, and the stack of dishes by the sink. It’s all these little details that make these builds a joy, and the LEGO Parisian Restaurant does not lack joy.
So packed is it, in fact, that some of the details become obscured. Here is a shot of the outside seating area, with the word ‘CHEZ’ carefully picked out. Unfortunately, this then gets hidden under the seats and the table with the enormous croissant. I suppose some builders might enjoy having secret bits to themselves.
There is a second seating area, up a staircase from the front that converts to a side patio, overlooked by a stunning chimney. The chimney is a slow build, one lot of bricks per page of the manual, but the finished effect is superb. It also matters not a jot to the overall playability or structure of the restaurant, which is what I love about LEGO, they pop in bits just because they can. This next photo also gives you an idea of the roof, which is a feat of engineering. I have no idea how they come up with these ways to fit lumps of plastic together. Not only does this roof curve, it also includes windows and *can be pulled down* to reveal an artist’s studio.
All that chimney is for a lovely kiln, despite our artist not being a potter. She is a dab hand at Piet Mondrian style paintings, a double bonus for me as alongside being a clear fit for LEGO’s style, he happens to be my favourite painter. With Paris being one of my favourite and most-visited places, and with me being a huge fan of dining out, it’s like this kit was invented just for me. In fact, the LEGO Parisian Restaurant was the first in the series that I saw, several years ago in an official LEGO shop. To have it sat on the table in front of me now is an odd sensation.
The middle floor of this three-storey build is given over a studio flat. The poor chap that lives here doesn’t have a loo, so I suppose he’ll have to make friends with the single mum next door at Assembly Square and use hers. He does have a great pull-down bed though, architects would do well to take notes from LEGO in how to build space saving homes.
Not that building LEGO saves any space in my home, we’ve had to create a special surface for my new street. Next month, I’ll give you a tour of LEGO Creator Expert Brick Bank, but if you want sneak previews, be sure to check out Instagram where I showcase my builds.