PM24.

So I tried to come up with a clever title, but it’s Monday…

Recently my family ventured from old Sydney town to visit me for my birthday. I had heard great things about Philippe Mouchel’s restaurant on Russell St and so when asked to pick a ‘book-able’ restaurant, I went for PM24.

From the initial phone call to the end of dessert, the service was impeccable. I’m a sucker for good service, I mean, if you’re going to be in the hospo industry, show us you want to be there!

With 2 coeliacs in the fam, the lovely hostess I spoke to was more than willing to accommodate and noted it all accordingly.

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I call it, Trying to be Arty.

With the six of us ready for a good feed, we arrived at PM24 on a busy Saturday night, the restaurant was buzzing but still at a noise level that made conversations easy.

As we tucked into beautiful crusty baguette (and GF toast for the coeliacs), dad took on the wine list and we ordered some cocktails. My choice was the Frisky Sour … (see what they did there??). Very nice in my opinion, but strong so if you’re not a big Whisky fan, obviously, don’t try it.

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Frisky Sour.

Entree was ordered and we were off with a bang. One of the benefits of eating with 5 others is that between you, you can pretty much order one of everything on the menu.

It was after we ordered than I noticed Philippe Mouchel standing at the pass, examining each dish as it was served to patrons. After getting over the initial “oooh he’s famous”, it was great to watch how careful he was with each dish and that he took so much pride in the food.

Entree arrived relatively quickly considering how many of us there were and the amount of people in the restaurant. My choice was the King Salmon Gravlax with somen noodles and and heirloom carrot salad. Having never experienced ‘gravlax’ before, I was looking forward to it and it didn’t disappoint. Although I didn’t think it tasted particularly ‘french’ with the noodles, the flavours were fresh and light, exactly what I was looking forward to.

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King Salmon Gravlax

We are a family of carnivores, so it was expected at least one of us would go for the charcuterie platter. B went for it and although the initial look of the plate deterred her, she tried new things and liked it!

B, as well as myself, was expecting a charcuterie plate a little different to what arrived at the table but she thoroughly enjoyed it as she had never tried terrine, pate or roulade before – all of which made a guest appearance on the board. Special mention to the jug of cornichons that didn’t make it into the photo. There would have been 30 gherkins in there! yummo.

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Charcuterie Plate  

Mumma and Papa bear went for the same dish, being the Escargot, which looked, smelt and tasted delicious. Having only sampled snails a couple of times, I was looking forward to taste testing and really enjoyed them. Not a very strong flavour, and slightly chewy which I liked.

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1/2 Dozen Escargot.

It was a night of trying new things as my youngest sister A was keen to try the fig salad, yet had never sampled one of my favourites – Blue Cheese. We said to her, if you’re going to try blue cheese…do it in a French restaurant! She was pleasantly surprised and the salad looked scrumptious. I did sample a morsel of the cheese as well as it was delicious. Melt in your mouth with the kick most blue cheeses deliver.

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Caramelised Figs, Roquefort Cheese, Prosciutto & Walnut Salad

After flicking through the menu, my third sister M ordered the Prawn Fritters. I don’t think she was expecting them to be presented as they were, however she really enjoyed them. Fantastic choices all round.

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Prawn Fritters

Going off the reactions of the fam and the tastings I sampled, I’d choose the fig salad or the escargot. Next time I would love to try the Spring Bay Mussels.

The service continued superbly and I was having a fantastic evening. What I loved is that we weren’t rushed at all from start to finish, a credit to the staff and the way the restaurant is organised.

Oh and the bathrooms are decked out to the nines. Definitely worth a trip, even if you don’t need to. Just go for a stroll between courses!

The mains soon rolled in and we were all salivating over our choices. Now thinking about it, I probably would have gone for a different dish, just because it was so similar to the dish I ordered at Bistro Guillaume late 2012. Both mumma and myself chose the rotisserie chicken which is their speciality.

It was beautiful, don’t get me wrong. Almost melt in your mouth. But I had been spoilt with Brahimi’s chicken at his crown bistro and unfortunately it wasn’t as good as that. But it was still a beautiful dish and the sautéed potatoes were a great accompaniment. Loved the presentation as well.

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Rotisserie Chicken 

Pappa & B both ordered the same dish (bound to happen a couple of times when dining with a big group and a smaller menu). They went with the three point rack of lamb. I think Pop was initially disappointed with the serving size but they both agreed it was plenty and the flavours were fantastic.

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Three Point Rack of Lamb

A was super keen to try new things this particular evening and so she chose the Shellfish Boudin blanc & scallop risotto. Not what I was expecting her to order (this kid dreams about lamb) but she was satisfied with her choice. I really liked the presentation of this dish as well. All so carefully presented to guests, not a grain out of place.

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Shellfish Boudin Blanc & Scallop Saffron Risotto

M decided on the Steak frites (aka steak and fries), always a safe choice in my book. The beef jus was a tad rich for her. The steak was cooked well. Apologies no photo of that one. Insert picture of 280g sirloin here :)

After the cocktails we had moved onto a beautiful red wine, and although the name escapes me, I have to mention it because it was really delicious and favoured by all of us which is a rare occurrence.

Now came, in my opinion, the best part of the evening. The cheeeeeeese. The waitress brought out a large cheese board and explained our choices. Being a family of well, overeaters, we naturally ordered a piece of each. Blue, cheddar, goats cheese, brie, quince paste. Gah I’m salivating looking at the photo.

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Cheeseboard…dessert warm up.

Although we were all full, the second stomach (aka the dessert stomach) was kicked into gear and a couple of desserts were ordered. After consuming half a bird at main and then probably a kilo of cheese, I went with a simple Affogato with Kahlua. Never have I had a bad Affogato, always a good choice.  Although it wasn’t AS good as the affogato I had at Pure South last year, it was beautiful coffee. The birthday message and sparklers was an added bonus!

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Affogato with Kahlua

A is a little pocket rocket and dessert was definitely in her sights. The PM24 version of a Peach Melba looked fantastic and she was raving about the flavours.

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Peach Melba 

It wouldn’t have been a french dinner without a soufflé and mamma and papa bear decided to tackle the wonderful dish together. This passionfruit soufflé really was incredible and both mum and dad were raving about it. It was so light and airy and wow I really want dessert right now.

I really should learn not to write these when hungry.

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Souffle

We sat there engaging in our usual banter for a while after our dessert and not once were we hurried along. Our waitress was wonderful, one of the best service experiences I have ever had.

A really fantastic night and we have the staff of PM24 to thank for that.

Merci Philippe!

8.5/10

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