Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bistro Guillaume - Southbank

Name: Bistro Guillaume

Address: 8 Whiteman St
Southbank 3006 VIC
Phone: (03) 9693 3888

Food: French
Average price: Entree - $22, Mains - $35, Desserts - $18.
Complimentary: 1 baguette slice for each person with a disk of butter for 3 people that had a sprinkling of fleur de sel (?salt).

We ordered:
Entree: Traditional Onion soup - $16.

Dad and I ordered this and both of us didn't like it. Perhaps it is because we are used to Australianised onion soups we found the dish overly sweet with a weird deepness, perhaps a gravy or sauce? I didn't much like the texture either; I only had a few spoonfuls.

Freshly shucked oysters with shallots and red wine vinegar - $3.50 each.

Anthie ordered these, and Ryan who had never had an oyster before, absolutely loved these.

Chicken & duck liver parfait with pear, ginger chutney & toasted sourdough - $25.
Doris ordered this and cleaned the plate.

Hunter Valley snails with beurre persile - $21 per 1/2 dozen.

Ryan and his dad ordered these and ate them all.

Mains: Berkshire pork cutlet with pommes croquettes and sauce charcutiere - $40.
Ryan absolutely loved the pommes croquettes, and thought the pork was good too.

Duck confit - $38.

Doris had this and liked it.

Bistro Guillaume Fish & Chips - whole whiting with Pont- Neuf and beurre maitre d'hotel - $45.

This looks quite impressive, Louis enjoyed it.

John Dory with pea puree, asparagus - $39.
The fish was seared and salted, which contrasted well to the heavy sweetness of the pea puree and crispness of the asparugus. It was quite nice but got a bit boring.

Risotto with field mushrooms & Reggiano parmesan - $25.
Anthie and dad ordered this, and although the consistency and flavours were nice, it was oversalted.

Desserts: Chocolate Marquise with pistachio ice cream - $20.
Doris and Anthie ordered this and absolutely loved it. The chocolate marquise was like velvet. It also had a raspberry reduction.

Trio of ice creams - $18.

Louis ordered this - it was a trio of chocolate, pistachio and vanilla ice creams.
Poire Belle Helene - $18.
I shared this with Ryan, which was a mistake as it is definitely not enough for two. It is a poached pear, with vanilla bean ice cream and a dark chocolate sauce - classic combination. We didn't get much of the sauce though as everyone else of the table poured it over their own desserts.

Cost: $448 - 6 entrees, 6 mains, 4 desserts - unfortunately there is a ridiculous 10% surcharge on Sundays and Public Holidays.

Service: Great. We didn' really notice the waiters (most of whom had french accents). Our water was topped, our plates cleared without interruption. They were also quite knowledgable about the menu.

Atmosphere: The restaurant is located within the Crown Complex so it feels quite luxurious and upmarket. The interior is gorgeous, large billowing fabric lights take center stage to an otherwise muted colour scheme. Unfortunately the chairs are a little uncomfortable.

It was fairly empty, but there was little noise also. At one instance a light bulb exploded and shattered over a diners seat, who luckliy had taken a bathroom break when it happened, the waiters quickly cleaned it up and replaced her chair by the time she had returned.

Parking: Normally ample as it is within the Crown Complex which has an abundance of parking, unfortunately for us today it was full but we parked in another parking complex in Southbank.


Hours: Sat-Sun 8am-11.30am
daily noon-11pm

Would I return: No. I didn't think the food was anything special considering the great reviews.

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