There are so many places I want to check out in the Perth food scene. Offering modern French cuisine, I picked Bistro Guillaume at the Crown Casino for dinner with a friend after looking at the menu and seeing a few pictures of the restaurant and, of course, the food. The original restaurant opened up in Melbourne and received One Hat by The Age Good Food Guide. The entrance to the bistro in the Crown is quite grand.
The foyer of the restaurant also looks impressive with a spring green theme, modern French doors, a beautiful green French provincial couch and lots of mirrors.
The green theme continues throughout the inside of the restaurant and decorates the bar, chairs, wallpaper and menus. I think it looks great and provides a nice contrast to the black and white items of furniture and decorations in the restaurant. We had a 6.30pm booking on a Monday night and were the first diners there. It was kind of nice having the whole place to ourselves. We were shown to our table, chairs were pulled out for us, linen napkins placed on our laps and were asked what we’d like to drink.
I knew I wanted a pasta dish and chose the mushroom risotto with Manjimup truffles and reggiano parmesan emulsion ($40). As soon as this was placed in front of me, the wonderful intoxicating aroma hit me. Wow! I really loved the simple presentation of the risotto. It also reminded me of Spring. I was busy taking photos of it and could feel myself drooling. I couldn’t wait to taste it. There were plenty of tasty mushrooms inside so I was happy with that. It’s a creamy risotto minus any glugginess/heaviness and doesn’t give you that sick feeling after a few spoonfuls that other creamy risottos often do. The emulsion on top was foamy and very light as well. Delicious! One of the nicest risottos I’ve had in a very long time. Such a simple dish, not too many ingredients, but it was perfection. My only complaint is I couldn’t really taste the truffles when I mixed it through with everything else.
My friend had the rack of lamb on a bed of ratatouille, tapenade and zucchini flower ($40). Our waitress informed us that it comes off the bone and the Chef prefers to cook it medium rare and my friend was fine with that. I thought the meat came out perfectly medium rare.
For dessert, I’d initially set out to order the chocolate souffle with cherry ripe ripple until I asked the waitress what the strawberry and rose macaron consisted of. For $24, it couldn’t just be one macaron. She mentioned it was a large rose water macaron filled with cream, strawberry sorbet, fresh strawberries and was the size of a burger. That sold me. This was so pretty to look at! It was quite a sweet dessert as the macaron is also sitting in a berry compote which also had a nice tartness to it. I loved the sorbet and wished there was more of it. I’m no macaron expert, but I thought the macaron shells were too hard. The outside gave a nice crack but there was no soft chewy texture inside. However considering the size of it, I’d expect it would be quite difficult to get them soft on the inside.
My friend chose the tart du jour of a poached peach and frangipani tart with vanilla bean ice cream. This was beautifully soft and moist.
Bistro Guillaume is a little expensive – it cost $64 for a main and a dessert. But I thoroughly enjoyed the risotto and would gladly pay $40 for that level of quality. Simple food done extremely well. Service was very professional and friendly. I love that there are French wait staff working there and the luxurious French provincial decor inside. Our waitress was knowledgable about the food on the menu and water was topped up regularly. I had a really lovely dining experience here and will definitely go again.