It Just Has To Be Delicious

Posts tagged ‘French’

Choux Cafe, Swanbourne

Choux Café Pâtisserie Française Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Choux is famous for its macarons, and used to be managed by the celebrated French chef Emannuel Mollois before his sad passing from bone cancer in 2017. It had been a while since our last visit and we decided to pop in for some takeaway afternoon tea following a brunch at the beach.

As we arrived, the pastry chef was just transporting a huge and very delicious looking gateau to a client’s car – it looked amazingly good.

The cabinet was full of those signature macarons, but our eyes were drawn to the wonderful perfect cakes.

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They also have savouries and croissants.

and wonderful flans….

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After much deliberation we opted for the blueberry and lemon ‘Iris’. A wonderful slice with layers of zingy lemon curd and rich blueberry compote.

We also chose a Gianduja – hazelnut, chocolate and feuillantine (which adds a wafery crunch).

Both slices were beautifully presented, not overly sweet, thoughtfully constructed and textured, and an example of some of the best patisserie in Perth.

This place is highly recommended, if you choose to dine in, the atmosphere is a French country kitchen. Very nice and in a beautiful area.

St Michael 6003, Highgate

St Michael 6003 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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St Michael 6003 is situated on Beaufort Street just south of Vincent Street in an area that is a hub for bars and restaurants.

As soon as we walked in, we were captivated by its serene elegance, with beautiful wooden tables, contemporary artwork and stained glass images. We were seated at a comfortable table with good lighting. There were various menu offers even though it was a Saturday night, and we chose the degustation for $79 instead of the usual $95. We could also have had a $49 fixed price menu – any three courses instead of the regular $69.

I selected a glass of chardonnay from the wine list – a lovely oaky WA drop, poured straight from the bottle by the French waiter. Our first course to arrive was a tomato gazpacho with bread and whipped herb butter. This was perfect. The gazpacho lovely and spicy, and not too garlicky, served with heavenly moist bread.

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Then came scallops served with fennel jam, radish and dill. Perfectly cooked scallops – I could have eaten a whole plate of them and this was one of the best dishes.

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Lemon risotto with walnuts was probably my least favourite dish of the meal. It was definitely lemony but quite bland with just a few slivers of walnuts, and could have done with something salty to contrast. It tasted better with the wine, but overall, was just missing a flavour somewhere.

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Then came the star dish of the meal – quail with beetroot textures, beetroot syrup, pureed beetroot and wafer thin slices of beetroot. Oh my goodness the quail was perfectly fried with a crispy coating, and the beetroot textures were so varied, the slices really earthy, the syrup sweet and almost dessert like, the puree wonderfully soft and flavoursome. A really great dish.

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Next came a dish where we had a choice between a meat plate and an ocean dish. We chose the ocean catch of crispy skin barramundi, confit potatoes, and bouillabaisse foam. The barra was beautifully fresh, the potatoes soft and tasty, and the foam added another dimension. Another great dish.

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That was the end of the entrees and mains and the next dish was a pre-dessert palate cleanser of apple sorbet with lemon snow. The sorbet was crisp pure apple and the snow was incredibly light and melted in the mouth.

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The main dessert was a milk chocolate pave, with almond sorbet. Beautiful soft milk chocolate ganache, dreamy soft sponge, silky sorbet, crunchy cocoa bits. A really lovely dessert. I am a dark chocolate fan, but this milk chocolate creation was divine.

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The waiter asked if we would like coffee or tea, and we declined, but he brought some petit fours anyway. The plate consisted of hazelnut macarons, dark chocolate truffles, and meringue crisps. The macarons were beautifully made, and the truffles were a mouthful of memorable gorgeous rich chocolate. The meringue crisps were delicate and sweet.

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St Michael 6003 gave us an incredibly good meal, and the restaurant now ranks as one of my favourites in Perth. I’ll definitely be back very soon for some more.

 

 

 

Rhubarb Rhubarb, Wooloowin

Rhubarb Rhubarb Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I had heard about this restaurant for a while and each time we tried to book, it was already fully booked, so this time I made a special effort to book in advance for a birthday meal.

It is one of those warm, cosy restaurants, a little old fashioned, almost takes you back to the seventies in atmosphere. It has French music playing and the menu is heavily French influenced. I like that the menu is just five entrees, five mains and five desserts. It doesn’t try to be all things to all men.

For starters we chose the twice baked blue cheese souffle with Waldorf salad and the seared scallops with prosciutto, salad and croutons. The souffle was nicely flavoured without being too overpowering and matched very well with the Waldorf salad with it’s nice fresh and crunchy texture. The scallops were perfectly cooked and a nice soft contrast to the salty prosciutto, another lovely dish.

The waiter was friendly and accommodating and he brought is a strawberry sorbet palate cleanser to keep us occupied between courses.

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For main course we chose the crispy pork belly on pumpkin puree with potato, sugar snap peas, hazelnuts and broad beans; and the sea trout with gnocchi, hollandaise and fennel salad. We chose a cauliflower and cabbage gratin as a side dish.

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The pork belly was nicely crispy, the potatoes well cooked, and the sugar snaps and broad beans a lovely contrast in textures. The sea trout was cooked slightly rare, very fresh and tasty with a beautiful fennel salad, and the gnocchi were soft, glossy, absolutely perfect in the mouth.

The side dish was also a triumph – the best cauliflower cheese ever with a wonderful hint of cabbage – I could have eaten that dish as a meal by itself.

Rhubarb Rhubarb is a restaurant that is old fashioned in atmosphere, but very modern in the way that it creates good fresh twists on French classics. It is quaint and friendly, and the food is a joy to eat. Every item on the menu is cooked to perfection, and the restaurant clearly has a faithful following who come back time and again. It is not cheap, but the food oozes quality and the staff do their job very well. I have already booked my next meal at Rhubarb Rhubarb. It sure beats the hyped up cheffy joints in the CBD.

P’tite Ardoise Bistro – Highgate

P'tite Ardoise Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I have been intending to eat at P’tite Ardoise for a while now – it always scores highly on Urbanspoon/Zomato, so I was delighted to finally get a booking (booking is not easy – they only seem to answer the phone in the afternoons).

I arrived early for my booking and was surprised to find the restaurant already very busy. The tables are very close together, so they pack quite a few people in. It has a quirky ambience, is a little old-fashioned, and the waiters are all French, speaking fluent Franglais to the diners “Bonsoir, can I get you a drink?”.

On first view of the menu, I wasn’t impressed, just three choices of starter, main and dessert, until I discovered the ‘menu du jour’ on the other side. I had been looking at the ‘classics’ menu.

The waitress brought lovely fresh bread in a basket – baguettes, olive bread, bread with grains, and I loved that they served it with a trio of butter, olive oil and tapenade. I cannot eat much dairy and I prefer olive oil to butter with my bread.

Olive bread

Olive bread

I chose the rillettes de tours to start – similar to a rustic pate, but not as smooth as pate – pork belly with sauternes jelly and crispy bread. The bread was so crispy that it was extremely hard, and made my hard palate sore trying to crunch through it. The dish was served with an apple chutney, a raspberry jelly and some dill pickles. The pork was extremely tasty, but the overly hard bread was a let down – I would have loved some softer toast, then it would have been perfect.

Rillettes de tour

Rillettes de tour

My companion chose the scallops and Merguez sausage with celeriac puree and calvados jus. He thoroughly enjoyed the dish and it looked fabulous.

Scallops

Other choices of starter included pumpkin soup, terrine of the day, and thinly sliced peppered beef with prawns and celeriac remoulade. It did occur to me that this would not be a great restaurant choice for the vegetarian diner.

For the main I chose snapper with manjimup truffle and potato macaire and port jus.

Snapper

Snapper

The snapper was lovely – perfectly cooked, but I didn’t really enjoy the potato macaire, it was quite dry in texture and I didn’t really detect the truffle flavour. We were also served a dish of vegetables which were nicely cooked but fairly plain.

Vegetables

Vegetables

My companion chose slow-cooked beef cheek with mashed potato, bacon, mushroom and red wine jus. He really enjoyed it and said that it was perfect winter food.

Beef cheek

Beef cheek

Other choices of main included casserole of the day, lamb shank and ratatouille crepes.

The portion sizes were quite huge and we didn’t feel that we had room for a dessert. If we had opted for dessert, we could have chosen from floating islands, chestnut meringue, plum clafoutis, trio of mini desserts or assorted truffles and nougat. All of them sound lovely but after two huge courses and two rounds of bread, we were finished.

So would I rush back to P’tite Ardoise ? The food was definitely tasty, I think my companion chose better dishes than me, the service was a little haphazard, and the tables felt cramped. The whole restaurant was quite noisy and lively and is a fun place to be, however, I don’t think it quite lived up to the hype. It was very good, but didn’t blow my mind.

Bouchon Bistro, Wembley – revisit

UPDATE – Sadly, Bouchon is now permanently closed, the owners decided to retire.

The last visit to Bouchon was thoroughly enjoyable, so it was time for a return.

The menu was as inviting as ever with all dishes sounding appetising, so I could have happily chosen anything.

Choices of starters were a Linley valley pork terrine, a duck confit croquette, a sardine escabeche, and pan fried tiger prawns with gruyere custard.

We were served an amuse bouche of terrine with rhubarb – I didn’t catch the name of the meat that was in the terrine, but it tasted quite strong and gamey so could have been venison. This was very nice.

Amuse bouche

Amuse bouche

I chose the sardine escabeche with lemon, olive oil and basil sorbet, and a goat cheese bavarois.:

Sardine Escabeche

Sardine Escabeche

This was a lovely starter, nice and fresh tasting with the bavarois perfectly complementing the acidity of the sardine dressing.

My companion chose the duck confit croquette with tomato, mushroom and coriander marmalade:

Duck confit croquette

Duck confit croquette

This was packed with duck, the crispy coating being a nice contrast to the soft duck meat, and the mushrooms and jus were rich and delicious.

The choices of mains were Tasmanian salmon, braised beef cheek, panfried spatchcock breast, and veal tournedos.

I chose the veal tournedos with chestnut crust and sesame and orange condiment:

Veal tournedos

Veal tournedos

The veal was perfectly cooked – medium rare, the crust was exquisite and the citrus accompaniments balanced the meal well.

My companion chose the beef cheek in lemon grass and espelette with white bean ragout:

Braised beef cheek

Braised beef cheek

This was also perfectly cooked, melting in the mouth – the beans were nice but tasted similar to standard baked beans, and an alternative carbohydrate would have been better, such as a potato cake or some mash.

Accompaniments were green vegetables:

Green vegetables

Green vegetables

A nice mixture of beans, sugar snaps and broccoli. We could have had gratin dauphinois, but decided to keep my dairy consumption to a minimum to avoid too much of an intolerance reaction – I had already spotted my dessert, and knew that I wanted to have ice cream.

The choice of desserts was spiced fruit tagine with rice pudding, poached pear and poire william chibouste with shortbread, chocolate mousse with peanut caramel and sambuca ice cream, and a cheese plate with crackers, fruit compote and bread.

We both chose the mousse:

Chocolate mousse

Chocolate mousse

It was advertised as a dark chocolate mousse, but for my taste it could have been darker. It was delicious though, and the sambuca ice cream was sublime and complemented the dish perfectly. The peanut caramel was a little too sweet and cloying, I would have preferred the caramel to be taken further so that it was darker, and poured over roasted peanuts to form a peanut brittle. It was a very nice dessert though, and one that I will attempt to make in my own style at home for one of my dinner parties.

The whole meal was a real treat, but on this occasion the service was a bit on the slow side. The waitress did apologise a few times and I wondered if they were short staffed. I thought that it was good value for the quality of the food, and will be happy to return again.

Waterside Inn, Bray, United Kingdom

The Waterside Inn at Bray, Berkshire is the only restaurant in the UK to have held 3 Michelin stars for over 25 years. The restaurant  was opened by Albert and Michel Roux in 1972 and gained its first star in 1974, its second in 1977 and the third in 1985. In 1986 Michel took over the running of the restaurant and passed the reins to his son Alain in 2002.
Waterside Inn Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

At the time of writing there are only 4 restaurants in the UK that hold 3 Michelin stars, so that gives you an idea of the enormity of this achievement. You know that when you dine here you are going to experience something truly special. The restaurant is in a lovely setting. Bray is a sweet little English village that could feature on a jigsaw or a chocolate box, and the Waterside Inn is right on the river Thames.

The Waterside Inn

The Waterside Inn

When you arrive at the restaurant, one of the staff valet parks your car for you, such a lovely touch, but also a sensible one because parking is limited. The staff are very friendly and welcoming, they are attentive, but not overly so, and you soon get the feeling that you are about to have a very special dinner in a friend’s dining room.

Waterside Inn Dining Room

You can choose A la carte or Le Menu Exceptionnel – we chose the latter which is a tasting menu showcasing the best of Alain’s creations. I have had tasting menus before, and they are usually fairly small portions which end up with you feeling just full, but the Waterside Inn is different, the portions are relatively generous, so be careful not to fill up on bread (I saved some bread on my side plate to mop up the delicious sauces with every course).

We were served canapes consisting of a tart with mussel and lemon, a light as air cheese pastry bun and a duck terrine served on a crisp biscuit. Each mouthful was perfect, no flavour was too overpowering and every ingredient added something to the overall taste. Mmmmm what a taste of things to come.

Canapes

Apologies for the quality of some of my photographs, but I am no photographic expert, and I couldn’t seem to get the lighting right. The quality of the photos on the Waterside Inn web site is much better.

Next came an amuse bouche which was a profiterole of mushrooms with a parsley sauce:

Mushroom Profiterole

Next was a lobster salad with citrus jelly and raspberry vinaigrette. This was one of my favourite courses – I love lobster, and I loved the fact that the serving was large enough to give you a real taste of the lobster:

Lobster salad

Next was an incredibly smooth chestnut and champagne veloute with partridge and fois gras dumplings:

Veloute

Following the veloute was a fish course of turbot baked in a vine leaf and served with white grapes and a verjus emulsion. I love turbot. :

Turbot

There was a choice of main course – we chose the duck, which was expertly carved at the table. This was a spit-roast Challandais duck with a bubble and squeak patty, some apple, and a calvados flavoured jus:

Challandais duck

Then onto dessert, firstly a sable biscuit with pears and blueberries:

Sable with pears and blueberries

Followed by a very special warm golden plum souffle:

Golden plum souffle

With very full tummies we were invited to sit in the lounge for tea and coffee, when we were presented with a tiered stand of amazing petit fours, each one expertly crafted:

Petit fours

The whole experience was memorable, and each course an absolute triumph. The restaurant manager, Diego chatted with us during the meal, he was charming and entertaining, and before we left, we met Alain Roux who was interested to gain our feedback on the meal.

I can honestly say that the Waterside Inn is a unique, memorable and enjoyable venue, and I am very much looking forward to returning there.

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