at Les Bistronomes by Wendy Johnson
Don’t classic French dishes, like bouillabaisse and duck à l’orange, just make you want to worship to the food gods? They make me want to worship. These sophisticated dishes, that require megadoses of talent to create and plate, are being celebrated on the newly released seasonal menu at Les Bistronomes in Braddon.
Owners Abel Bariller and Clement Chauvin, with their sexy French accents, live and breathe wonderful wines and dishes that you may think have gone out of style but which, if truth be told, never, ever will—especially when served with such finesse.
Les Bistronomes can best be described as rustic French chic. It’s a casual, comfortable dining environment, with padded chairs that allow you to sit back and relax, and tables large enough to hold beautifully plated food and several wine glasses (at least that’s how many accumulate each time we visit).
Clement says they have added new dishes to the autumn menu but wouldn’t dare remove some that customers order time and time again. And currently that includes the chestnut and caramelised onion soup—silky smooth, earthy in texture and perfect for this time of year. And the ash encrusted duck à l’orange, a whole duck with red cabbage, orange and pine nuts (served for two).
Another dish Clement wouldn’t have the courage to remove is La Bouillabaisse, with its wonderfully complex flavours. This fish soup, traditionally associated with the Provence region, has been made for centuries. This one is created with love with Rouille sauce, which, as it name implies, is rust in colour, adding to the richness and depth of the soup. And let’s not forget the salmon, scallop, mussel and clams.
The menu at Les Bistronomes has a section of mains to share for two people, and pre-ordering is recommended. New on the menu is roasted piglet and Alsace sauerkraut served with potato, caramelised apple and truffle ($72 for two). This special section of the menu also features Cape Grim rib eye served with bone marrow, chips and béarnaise sauce ($96 for two). Each one takes 25 or 30 minutes to make, so rest easy and enjoy the wine and the ambience.
And now it’s time for the grand finale desserts, which Les Bistronomes is so famous for. There’s that classic vanilla bean crème caramel which you simply can’t beat (this one served with a drunken fig), a famous pear and almond Tarte Bourdaloue with vanilla yoghurt sorbet, a raspberry soufflé and a chocolate mosaic. If you please, the French cheese platter is a winner and Abel will help you select the best wines to match.
Abel is a professional French master sommelier and a ‘Knight of Cognac’. He has a nose for the best varieties and labels and is happy to chat away about what makes each wine on the menu a top pick.
Clement’s background in the kitchen started early. He was a young 18 years of age when he landed a position working in two-Michelin star restaurant Pic (Valence) and also received some heavy duty training in executing perfect flavours and perfect plating at Gordon Ramsay’s Claridges in London.
For a special occasion give yourself time to peruse and taste, or book a five-course chef’s degustation on Saturdays at lunch for an amazing $50 per person (this is worth every bite). Or just enjoy whatever you’d like for lunch or dinner off the a la carte menu or specials board.
Les Bistronomes is at the corner of Mort and Elouera Streets in Braddon. Open lunch and dinner, Tuesday to Saturday. 6248 8119.
Images by Sean Davey – http://www.seandavey.com.au unless otherwide indicated