Welcome to Melbourne Foodie. The blogspace of a young foodie with a passion for cooking, fine dining and quality food and produce. Melbourne Foodie, along with the other sources I write for is my way of casually expressing and recording some of the experiences I have had for others to enjoy. I always welcome any feedback, comments or restaurant suggestions you may have and would love to hear from you soon.

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Happy eating,

Sunday, May 18, 2008
Bistro Guillaume: dinner @ the bar
A few weeks back I decided to hit the city with friends Robert and Kat. Originally planning on having dinner at GA&S we didn't feel like waiting around, so strolled along the riverfront looking for other options. Rockpool was one possibility but it was also full so I decided that the Bistro Guillaume bar might be nice, so off we went occupying one of their snazzy leather booths. I won't go on much further about the setting as I have already reviewed the restaurant and bar before, but its just so well fit out and comfortable. Yes, its dark but its intimate, with soft lighting, wood tones and mood music. Its definitely the sort of place you could relax in all night, and the fact that the full menu is available is definitely a positive.

We begin the evening with some cocktails, which are good, but not in a league of their own. For great coktails (and food) I think Longrain is definitely a standout.

I order the Gin Sin, which is rather fruity and does not kick a punch at all. The other two cocktails, the names of which I cannot recall were significantly better with more dimensions and creativity.

For food we start off with some of the tapas to share, going for the six choice option ($33): choosing two plump oysters with a shallot and red wine vinegar, a double serve of the excellent house smoked salmon with creme fraiche and toasted brioche, a double serve of the steak tartare, which is spicy and well seasoned, but not as fine as that which I sampled on my last visit; and finally the rabbit terrine, which is not really a terrine at all, but more of a chunky pate that is really not that good on its own, lacking the sweet mango chutney, which accompanied it so well on my last visit.

For mains I simply cannot go past the now famous Bistro Guillaume fish and chips - whole whiting with pommes Pont-Neuf and beurre maitre d'hotel ($45): This is quite possibly Melbourne's best whole fish. Others have spoke about overly thick crumbing in the opening weeks. This one has a very light crumb layer and is cooked perfectly. The resulting flesh is super tender and breaking away and the accompanying maitre d'hotel butter absolutely delightful - the herbs and garlic complimenting the fish perfectly. The pedestal of fat chips were also good, but lacked the crunch and flavour of those from Bistro Vue. The fish though made up for it. I can tell you that there wasn't much left on the plate after I had dissected it from every angle, determined to get value. After all this was a $45 fish. And a glass of wine from the uber expensive list set me back another $20.

Duck confit with Brussels sprouts, speck and mustard sauce ($35): Kat's dish. A well cooked leg of duck sits atop a creamy concoction of brussels sprouts and speck. The duck has been confit perfectly and falls right off the bone. As a dish it seems very good: but probably no better than you would get at other restaurants of this level.

Steak frites, sauce a la bordelaise ($35): Again, good steak, cooked well with a nice sauce. Its tender and everything you expect a steak to be. Robert proclaimed that it was one of the best steaks he had eaten. I probably wouldn't go that far. The accompanying frites were rather average: still unsure as to whether they were freshly cut or frozen.

Desserts were omitted, opting for gelato later in the evening.

Overall Bistro Guillaume provides an excellent dining experience and I particularly love the atmosphere of the bar. Service was once again fairly slick and it was difficult to find too much fault with the evening.

MY RATING: 17.5/20 - Food: 8.5/10 Service: 4/5 Ambience-bar: 5/5 (My view may be biased, but I just love the bar setting)


Bistro Guillaume has also been reviewed by Melbourne Foodie here and here

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  posted at 3:32 PM  

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Name: Jon!

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