Late 2012 I visited a couple of brilliant french restaurants, so I thought I’d give you the run down. I always hesitate reading reviews of French food, because it seems a lot of people just don’t get that French food isn’t about the big bang flavours and the in-your-face presentation.
Good french restaurants present beautiful produce that speaks for itself and that can be savoured and enjoyed with a beautiful champagne or wine.
I had booked in to go to Bistro Guillaume for a while and read a few urbanspoon reviews in the lead up. Unfortunately the public haven’t been nice to Brahimi and his bistro but I was determined to try it for myself.
You will never struggle finding this Bistro in the Crown Complex, the green entrance can be seen from space, Felix Baumgartner probably saw it as he jumped from the shuttle. Don’t mistake this for dislike though, I really liked it and it set the tone for the relaxed yet stylish atmosphere and decor inside.
We were lucky enough to have Mr Brahimi himself in the kitchen so after a number of minutes spent swooning over the sexy french chef we decided to peruse the menu (keeping one eye on the pass in case he made another appearance).
I was Über excited about the entree as one of the options was a Steak Tartare which I had never tried before.
Steak Tartare with Pommes Gaufrettes
This was divine. As ridiculous as that word is to describe food. That’s what it was. Definitely in the top five dishes I have had in Melbourne. Incredible. The meat was so flavoursome and smooth and in my opinion didn’t even need the crisps on the side, even though they were delicious too. I could have left after that dish and been completely satisfied.
My dining partners also went with very french dishes, choosing the Terrine & the parfait. Both of which were raved about endlessly. Bravo Brahimi.
The country style Terrine…not usually a fan however this was given a glowing recommendation.
The chicken liver parfait with Pear Chutney.
We were off to a fantastic start. Beautiful food, fantastic conversation and bubbles. This was soon accompanied by the fire shots along Southbank of which I hadn’t seen since moving to Melbourne so that was a nice treat for the kind-of-newbie.
Mains was another difficult choice, however I had heard the favourite dish was the half roast chicken with Paris Mash. Now I usually don’t order chicken when out on the town, because in my head I always think, I can cook that at home. I ate my words. ORDER THE CHICKEN.
The half a Roasted Chicken with Paris Mash & Chicken Jus.
Ermagherd. Oh em gee. Mio Dio. Sacre Bleu!
Whatever language you speak. This was delicious. The chicken was the best chicken I have ever eaten in my entire life (sorry mum). It melted in your mouth and the buttery paris mash was the perfect side. It does become a rather rich dish to stomach, but trust me, you won’t be able to stop eating it.
Lala & Nicca’s choices looked equally delectable however I was in such a trance with my chicken, I didn’t try their dishes….or offer some of mine to them!
Baby Snapper with Sauce Vierge
John Dory with Beurre Noisette, Capers & Lemon
Is it just me or does everyone think of the ‘bad guy’ fish, Mr John Dory from Snugglepot & Cuddlepie when they see that on a menu? No, just me? Definitely should have kept that one to myself….
Now after a fabulous meal at a french restaurant, there is only one thing to do. Say Yes, when they ask if you would like to see the dessert menu. The hardest decision. The dessert stomach flicks it’s light on and the decision of Cheese vs Sweets comes into play. Unfortunately with the other stomach full to the brim, “both” wasn’t an option that day.
With a chocolate delice and a creme brûlée competing with the lemon tart for my affections, I asked the waitress to help me choose. On her recommendation I went with the lemon tart which was, surprise surprise, amazing!
Lemon Tart. Enough said.
I sometimes find Lemon Tarts to be …too tart…for my liking, however this was a great balance of flavour and the Creme Englais provided the extra decadence that definitely wasn’t needed, but was oh so appreciated.
Nicca’s choice…the special of the day, Raspberry Macaron. A GIANT Raspberry Macaron.
We were dining with an individual who, somehow, doesn’t usually like sweets so it was the cheese that had her attention. This was no regular cheese platter. It was advertised as a ‘selection of cheese’ on the menu, and that’s exactly what you got! A cheese cart was wheeled to the table…but a young frenchman…and Lala was given the choice of about 8 or 9 different cheeses.
Yes. ‘All of them’ was an option…and ‘All of them’ is what was requested. A portion of each cheese was sliced off and placed on a smaller platter accompanied with bread and crackers.
The embarrassed waiter who didn’t want his photo taken whilst slicing cheese. I shall call him Pierre.
Overall the experience was decadent food in a relaxed yet stylish environment. One that I would definitely recommend and hope to repeat soon! At the end of the evening Mr Brahimi was sitting at the bar having a beverage, probably congratulating himself on a job well done, and what a job well done it was.
I can’t fault it. 10/10.
Wow. I just saw Urbanspoon raters only give it a 77%….please ignore that and try it for yourself!