(Written by William)
As we have discussed earlier, the next set in the LEGO Creator Modular Buildings series is the #10243 LEGO Parisian Restaurant (see press release and designer video here: LEGO Modular Parisian Restaurant Coming!) Although the set is scheduled for release January 1st of next year, I had the pleasure of building it already thanks to LEGO sending us a review copy. Let me start out by saying that the LEGO Modular Buildings line is really the best of the best of what LEGO has to offer. And amongst the nine LEGO Modular Buildings that has been released so far, the LEGO Creator Parisian Restaurant got to be the best, or one of the best. Each floor of this three-story masterpiece is bursting with details not seen in everyday LEGO sets. So without further ado, let’s look at some of the incredible details of the #10243 LEGO Parisian Restaurant! 🙂
➡ #10243 LEGO Parisian Restaurant – Floor 1: Dining
The red carpet is out and everything on the menu is delicious. Indoor and outdoor dining is possible at this fine restaurant, all depending on what type of atmosphere you want. Outdoors features a colorful riot of flowers to create a pleasing atmosphere. Overhead there is a trellis with lantern-style hanging lamps. (If you look closely you will notice that the trellis is made of a large arched gate-door.) While underfoot the word “Chez” is spelled out.
Adding to the outdoor elegance are some finely textured pillars. Unusual LEGO elements not normally used in buildings – mechanical-arms, bars with stoppers, modified plates with bars and fingers, and bricks with grooves – all come together here in a very precise design that creates an elongated V shape.
Meanwhile, on the inside the dining area is a classier experience. A framed painting, exquisite lamps, a seriously impressive wine-display are only a few of its more notable elements. Less noticeable are the curtains, along with the fact that the waiter uses a round LEGO shield as a platter. If you study the lamps placed at the tables, you will notice two of the three new pieces included in this set. The lamps consists of a new 2×2 round tile with hole in the middle, an upside-down wine bottle, and a new inverted dome as a lamp-shade (also used as planters outside).
All this food needs to be cooked somewhere, so we turn our attention to the kitchen. A rich dark-blue and white checkered pattern really makes the floor pop. On the center island is a stove and oven, a couple of drawers (the top of which holds a frying pan), and a massive turkey. It’s not a big deal, but the oven definitely can’t cook that bird! 🙄
Along the back wall we have a fully stocked fridge with cheese, milk and wine tightly packed inside. There is a prep-station with all manner of utensils. The tools mainly consist of sharp objects including a couple of swords. We then have more cabinets and drawers along with a sink and dessert area. Going back to the sink, it’s really impressive that LEGO designers used a 1×2 LEGO plate with hooked bar to represent the drain pipe for the sink. It’s such a minor detail, but that’s what makes this set so special.
Take a look at the plates stacked ready for food or cleaning. Did you note that they are turned up? This is all thanks to that nifty 2×2 round tile with hole we talked about before (it’s the light-gray part at the bottom of the stack).
Heading out the back door we see a simple awning with vines growing on the wall, a water-tap, garbage-can, and dumpster. It’s kind of odd that the dumpster has a few food items not carried in the kitchen. The ones most noticeable are the sausages and cherries. Oh, and right pass the dumpster is a very cleverly designed storm-drain!
Well, time to head back to the front to go upstairs. We need to move around the lamp-post and very efficiently designed bench to see the two pencil bushes; another really well done detail. LEGO designers took a 2×2 LEGO brick with grooves on all four sides, put a cone in the center, and finally stuck five straight green blades in all the open studs. The end result is very realistic.
We then move up the stairs that switch back over the kitchen area. But as we move up the final steps, take a look at the railing that is built diagonally along the stairs. It’s amazing what a few LEGO clips and modified plates can achieve. Needless to say, LEGO designers repeat this technique later in the set, and in both cases it looks fabulous.
➡ #10243 LEGO Parisian Restaurant – Floor 2: Apartment
At the top of the stairs we have a modular floor that consists of more outdoor dining options. This section fits right over most of the kitchen below, and does not connect directly to the apartment. Two more tables hug the railing, while two pole-lamps with hanging flower-baskets illuminate and decorate the area.
Moving to the apartment we find it has two whole balconies. One is beautifully framed in the front of the building which could prove to be very romantic. The other is less so; it is located directly over the dumpster, which can’t smell very good. Décor in the apartment include a standing-lamp, table with chair, small kitchenette, fireplace, coffee-table with glass top and a very realistic recliner. The recliner is made more impressive by a new 2×2 LEGO slope with no studs. This is an extremely thin slope that when placed flat only stands two plates tall.
The highlights of this floor are the Murphy-bed and the design around the window. The bed uses some of the new 2×2 LEGO slopes with curved tops and no studs as a pillow. The bed also takes advantage of the 2×2 inverted tiles at the bottom, which makes the bed fit right in with the rest of the décor even when folded up.
As I mentioned before, the other stand-out feature of the apartment is the windows. It starts with sideways building techniques to help make the left and right frames, but the design is kicked up a notch using 2×2 LEGO bricks with axle holes as decorative elements. The end result is some very clean lines along with a few spots that look surprisingly like painted flowers. 😀
It would have been nice to have a bathroom, but when space is a concern, it’s understandable not to have one. Plus, there’s always the dumpster. Er… maybe not… Anyway, we head back out and up some more stairs. Once again, we can admire the diagonal railing. Speaking of railing, the spindle-fences look more versatile with four studs up top rather than just two on the ends; well they would if they weren’t all tiled over. But there are definitely four studs to play with.
➡ #10243 LEGO Parisian Restaurant – Floor 3: Studio
Still with me on this tour? At the door of the studio there is another small pencil bush. This one is in the new inverted dome used as a planter. It should be pointed out that a few of the garden-boxes facing the back use some very clever LEGO jumper-plate use. In fact, the back wall is a clinic of how to use jumpers effectively. Entering the third floor you find a very tight space. That’s why there is the fold-down roof to access the studio with its furnace and artist supplies.
The beauty of this floor is really on the outside. The highly detailed chimney, textured roof and building decorations are some of the best LEGO ever created. It all starts with 18 LEGO headlight-bricks attached to 18 more headlight-bricks that hold the double feathers in gray, typically reserved for Native American minifigures. This forms an insanely amazing zigzag pattern. And right on top of this design-goodness there is more! Look at the circular frames with white clams and croissants!
The circular frames are a brilliant two-part designs that consist of some serious sideways building with bars and clips. By the time you get to the central bay-window, it feels like the lead designer is just showing off wit his mad building skills! And if that wasn’t enough, the fold out roof section uses specially angled windows in a specially angled roof. To make a great set perfect, this roof is in a deep rich blue that makes the elegantly designed details pop that much more.
➡ Final Thoughts & Conclusion
The #10243 LEGO Parisian Restaurant is not just worth getting, it’s worth getting multiple copies of! It’s both a work of art and a story of love and artistry. From the hard-luck cramped apartment to the inspirational artist’s studio, this set has it all. And it does it while feeding your minifigure city with 5-star cuisine!
Olive-green becomes a viable building color thanks to the quantity and variety of bricks in this set. Dark-blue also makes an interesting choice in the slope department. And you get some stand out detail elements like the three 2×2 round tiles with hole in the center and the inverted dome bowls used both as lamp-shades and planters.
Compared to other LEGO Modular Buildings, the Parisian Restaurant definitely classes up the place with its clear Rococo style. Building it is great pleasure and full of surprises, it is full of interesting play-features, and it is a beautiful display piece as well. The best of LEGO from every possible perspective. Don’t hesitate; just pick it up when it becomes available next January. You will be very-very pleased!
So what do you think? How do you like the LEGO Creator Parisian Restaurant so far? Are you planning to add it to your collection? What are your favorite details about the set? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below. Also, for the currently available LEGO Modular Buildings series you can check out the Online LEGO Shop. 😉
You might also like to check out the LEGO Modular Houses section for more news and discussions, or select from the following recent posts: