Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Bistro Guillaume (2)

Warning: Bistro Guilluame is addictive.

L: There is an air of opulence to Bistro Guillaume, evident by its name stencilled calligraphy style in a gold plate, fitted into a very interesting white bricked rotunda just outside the front door. It continues inside, but there’s also a bit of “French” swagger with oversized toque pendants hang from the ceiling. Perhaps pre-empting the awarding of hats to the restaurant? That would be a little arrogant. Doubt that was the intention, but even it if was, it’s damn well deserved, as Bistro Guillaume really does impress. Having been to Guillaume at Bennelong, the luxurious feeding institution in a sail of the Opera House, I can assure you that Mr Brahimi lets nothing slip, from the “simple” French food to the service.

Begin with the freshly shucked oysters with a shallot and red wine vinegar. Creamy. All excellent, the charcuterie plate, seared scallops with cauliflower veloute, a trio of kingfish, tuna, salmon sashimi with salmon roe and salad of shaved fennel. Steak tartare, the finest finely chopped cow, mixed with Cognac, capers, gherkins, Worcestershire, herbs (thanks Mr Lethlean) an acquired taste. A taste that I want to acquire at every meal. Terrific.

Keeping you on the food high, steak frites pretty much epitomises the food of this place. Using mastery cooking skills and high quality produce, it gives simple, classic dishes messiah status. Which again is obvious in the Berkshire pork cutlet with pommes croquettes and charcuterie sauce and blue eye trevella on celeriac puree. Though worthy of being king of the messiahs, the whole Barossa Valley chicken roasted, theatrically presented in a copper pan before it is sliced and served at the table. It comes with a sauce a la chasseur, a gravy of depth made with a rich stock, mushrooms, shallots, white wine, tomato and herbs. His famed mash is a mere sideshow. I’m struggling to find a way to convey how good this is. All I can think of is the sound of Homer Simpson drooling. There’ll be a long face if you don’t order this.

Desserts, following on from the mains, are also simple classics. However Soufflé au chocolat, soft ganache in the middle, glace a l’orange, clafoutis aux Mures, glac a la pistache, tarte au citron, peach melba ‘notre faon’, honey and cognac crème cassonade requires translation from the staff or an internet ready iPhone. Thankfully they are more than happy to assist to avoid losses in own translation.

It isn’t mandatory for awesome restaurants to attach warning labels on their products. If it were, Bistro Guillaume would be putting them on pretty much every dish. Simply addictively delicious.

4.5 / 5 yums!
Where? 8 Whiteman St Southbank, VIC
What? Entrees $20, Mains $38, Desserts $20

More images see Y’s review:

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