Friday, November 30, 2012
Dinner at Bistro Guillaume
Last weekend, Liam and I celebrated our four-year anniversary. The past four years have absolutely flown by! In the past we’ve never really celebrated anniversaries, but I wanted to celebrate this year. My friends are always celebrating milestones of their relationships so we decide to have a special dinner. Since Liam has the holy Entertainment book, we decided to take advantage of the 25% off voucher and have dinner at Bistro Guillaume.
If you don’t know, Bistro Guillaume is a French restaurant, owned by chef Guillaume Brahimi. Brahimi owns a bunch of restaurants in Australia, including the very famous Guillaume at Bennelong, which is at the Sydney Opera House. Fans of this year’s Masterchef will remember the contestants had to cook for 60 people at Guillaume at Bennelong, and the multi-talented Kylie was booted off. SO MUCH SAD FACE.
I’ve never had proper French food before so this was very exciting for me. I don’t really know much about French cuisine. I know country style French food is very hearty – think beef burgundy and lamb navarin. In general, I feel french food is very simple and almost rustic in its essence.
We decided to plunge ourselves in French cuisine by ordering an entree of escargot persillade, which is snails cooked in a sauce made of parsley, butter and bread crumbs. They came with crunchy fingers of toasted bread. I think persillade might even be the French version of pesto. Despite my aversions to lamb, offal and pork, eating snails is easy, probably because I eat a lot of seafood and I just associate the texture of snails with mollusks. The waiter presented us with two of these ceramic dishes. For a moment we thought they accidentally gave us two servings of escargot, but we realised that was one serve. The snails were very tender, not at all chewy. The persadille sauce was piping hot and very rich. The parsley almost had a grassy flavour while the bread crumbs gave it some texture. I felt the serving was too big. Liam and I would have been happy to share half the serving.
Liam ordered the barramundi with carrot and ginger puree, coriander butter, topped with “pomme allumettes”, which is meant to be potato batons, but the ones Liam had are much finer and longer. Liam chose this dish because he loves coriander. In fact “love” doesn’t even touch on how into coriander he is. Maybe this image will help. I didn’t try this one but it looked yummy and light and Liam seemed happy with it, even though he thought it could have had more coriander.
I spent all of last week trying to decide what to order. I had my eyes set on the steak frites BUT the roast chicken with paris mash and chicken jus also sounded amazing. After a week of agonising, I settled on the steak and fries. It just sounded too good to pass up. It was a big meal: the steak was charred nicely on the outside and juicy on the inside. The bernaise sauce was buttery with an acidic punch. The fries were fantastic. Liam said they tasted like pringles, which they kind of did! They were delicious. I really liked my dish. I guess the only criticism I have was the steak had some grisly bits.
We also ordered a side of broccolini, to fool ourselves into thinking we are being healthy. The broccolini was bathed in butter and topped with toasted almonds. Yum.
Liam and I also took some nice photos of each other. I look terrible and old; it's like I don't know how to smile. However, Liam looks great! I posted that photo on facebook and he got like a gazillion "likes".
We were really full but we (OK, I) felt obligated to try the desserts. We originally set on ordering just the chocolate delice with coffee sorbet and praline. Then the waiter told us about the specials and I could not pass the opportunity of sampling a giant raspberry macaron with filled with actual raspberries. The chocolate delice was rich and heady with the earthier flavours of coffee and chocolate. Liam adored the sorbet because it tasted like it was made out of espresso. My favourite was the raspberry macaron. The sweet macaron shells were sandwiched with a tart raspberry sorbet, chantilly creme and juicy raspberries. The macaron was delicately laid on top of a pool of berry coulis. The sweet to tart ratio was spot on; it was just bliss.
How beautiful is it?
It was a wonderful evening, made even sweeter with the entertainment book voucher. It set us back $149 altogether, which is pretty good value in my opinion. I’d love to come back to Bistro Guillaume, whenever my wallet permits!
Do you have a favourite French dish?
Crown Entertainment Complex,
Southbank, Melbourne, Victoria
03 9292 4751