Anyone who knows me, knows of the completely outrageous froth-factor I have for anything French. I add random French words into the middle of my sentences because pourquoi not? Tell me anything is French and I’ll eat it, wear it, kiss it, drive it, smell it or try it. They just do everything better. So when my gal pal Chez said “ooh, let’s go have lunch at the new French restaurant that’s opened up in Chippendale”…I dropped my baguette and threw on my best beret immediately.
I should warn you that this lunch comes with a definite and confident ‘best meal we’ve had in a while’ disclaimer. From the moment you set foot in their doors, you feel inclined to say your name is Jean-Pierre or Margaux, as the interiors transport you straight to the bistro-laden, cobblestone streets of Le Marais.
If I haven’t painted an appealing enough picture for you yet, perhaps the bottomless bread basket and butter will pull you across the line. The second one of our hands reached for the last piece of bread, the basket was immediately replaced with a fresh and warm one with beautifully soft and perfectly salty butter.
The cranberry and vodka cocktails we had were a perfectly refreshing start to our meal and served as a great thirst quencher in between the fifteen kilos of bread and butter we each ate.
But let’s get down to business and talk about the food. OH MY GOODNESS THE FOOOOOOD. At the risk of sounding severely basic, I LITERALLY CANNOT EVEN DEAL WITH THIS FOOD AND HOW GOOD IT WAS! Neither of us could even slightly fault any of the savoury dishes we ate, which is seriously saying something.
Our first entrée was the Petuna Tasmanian ocean trout tartare with horseradish and lemon. This dish was outstanding. The horseradish cream was so subtle and perfectly balanced with the zesty lemon and the avocado and lettuce headpiece it looked like it was wearing. Honestly, if you had given each of us just this dish and nothing else…I think we still would have left the restaurant happy and satisfied. That’s how huge and delicious this plate of glorious food was.
Whoever said money can’t buy happiness, needs to try this dish. This bone marrow on sourdough bread with garlic confit and parsley was so decadent, lush, and downright delicious that I started flapping my arms like a bird when I bit into it (much to Chez’s embarrassment). Growing up in an ethnic household, bone marrow (and the Darwin-esque fights for it whenever it was on the dinner table) has always been a staple in my diet and something that I absolutely LOVE. I’m going to be horribly disrespectful to my grandma and say that this marrow was on par with hers. The addition of the hunks of confit garlic on top just made my day. Yes. Just so much yes.
I have absolutely no idea of the French name of this dish or how much it was. When the waiter said it all quickly, we just heard the key words “truffle” and “truffle butter” so obviously, we nodded our heads and said we’d take two. Very #grateful that we ordered one each because I think our friendship would have ended if we tried to share this dish. Truffle butter with truffle jus, shaved truffles, a sunny-side up egg and toasted breadsticks?! I don’t think I need to say anything other than Nicki Minaj would be proud of the amount of truffle on this plate.
Call me vanilla or unadventurous, but my standard go-to meal at any and every French restaurant I visit, is the steak and chips. There is something so insanely satisfying about a good piece of steak and chips that have been crisped to perfection. As much as I try, I can never go past it. It’s also a great unit of measure for me to be able to decide how much I like a French restaurant. Let me start by saying that his grassfed scotch fillet was cooked to medium-rare perfection. It was well rested and the meat honestly felt like it melted in your mouth. The fries were delicious – crunchy, not too oily and incredibly morish. The bearnaise sauce was yummy but surprisingly I found myself not wanting to use all of it with the steak or the chips. Perhaps it was because of the buckets of butter I’d eaten earlier with my bread, but I found it to be just a touch too heavy for me to cover my plate with it like I normally would.
For her main, Chez opted for the NZ John Dory fillet with winter vegetables and Champagne sauce. She lovingly let me try a bit of it and all I have to say is WOW. You know those cold, winter days where you want something hearty, delicious and warm that will make you feel like your insides are being hugged? This is one of those plates of food. The fish fell apart as soon as your fork touched it it was so soft. The vegetables had just the right amount of crunch left in them and the Champagne sauce was creamy and comforting. This dish was a definitely ‘would order again’ next time we go back.
LAISDAJYGQWUYGZDF. DED. Just look at it in all it’s oozy glory. We didn’t quite catch the name but this dessert is literally a godsend for those who don’t like anything too sweet post main meal. The dark chocolate ganache combined with the bitter espresso ice cream and a not-so-sweet brittle made these the perfect palette cleanser between the other two desserts we ordered.
This dessert was lovely, light, tasty and unusual. It was kind of like the traditional Pavlova’s Ivy-league educated, 5 language speaking, in a relationship with a tech-entrepreneur, looks flawless with no make-up on and overachieving cousin. We weren’t completely sure what fruit it was that was incorporated into the dish but it felt like a stewed quince of some sort. Neither of us are the biggest fans of quince so we probably wouldn’t order this again but if you do enjoy it or are just after a slightly lighter dessert…this is a winner for you!
End me. Seriously just end me now. Put the words ice cream and sandwich in the same sentence and I am yours. Dare to add the words melted chocolate and profiteroles to that sentence too and I am willingly yours. This plate was spotless (yes, we got in there with our hands too) and looked fresh out of the dishwasher within two minutes of hitting the table. The profiteroles: crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside. The ice cream: creamy, fragrant and lush. The chocolate: decadent, top notch and just an all round good time. This was literally my perfect dessert. Perfect. Just perfect. In fact, every time I have looked at this photo since our lunch…I have salivated a little bit.
We were both so absolutely and incredibly impressed with Bistro Gavroche and cannot wait to go back. Everything from the food, the drinks, the service and the ambience of the place spoke volumes about how much love and care has gone into the fine details of the restaurant. We already cannot wait to go back and I have a feeling that will be a lot sooner than is normal.
– AJ x