New French restaurant Les Bistronomes has opened up where Delissio’s used to be in Braddon. Head Chef Clement Chauvin started out working in two-Michelin Star restaurants in France, moved to London to work in one of Gordon Ramsey’s restaurants and made the move to Canberra to work at Sage, Waters Edge and a short consultancy stint at the Kennedy Room. Read more about his history on The Canberran’s post.
V and I went in for dinner and were greeted with a warm ‘Bonsoir’ before being shown to booked table. The lay out is modern and warm with cushioned dining chairs, a strip of exposed brick on one wall and dark wooden furnishings. You can find French classics such as escargot, duck a l’orange, cheese soufflé, and beef tartare on the dinner menu (menu available online). The ‘Mains for 2’ for $80 is another option and comes with a side dish of your choice. This wasn’t available on opening night as the convection oven hasn’t been delivered yet but it’s coming.
I tried the Diabolo ($6) under the soft drinks menu. This is a popular French drink of lemonade and a flavoured syrup such as strawberry, coconut, bubblegum etc. Our waiter informed us he had violet syrup that day so I chose that for something different. The Diabolo comes out in a mason jar with a stripey straw. There’s an extensive wine list including both red and white French wines to choose from.
That night, I felt like trying two entrees for dinner rather than a main. I can never resist a charcuterie platter ($24) on a menu. A selection of three meats with pickles, olives and warm bread was provided. What I thought was cheese in the platter was actually butter. I preferred the smoked tomato whipped butter and spread more of this on. It’s seriously that good!
I couldn’t go past the entree of escargot et fillet de porc en persillade – garlic snails and pork loin with parsley cream ($17). This was presented beautifully with fresh green colours on the plate. I knew the pork loin would taste amazing when I saw the fantastic shade of pink. It was tender and so easy to eat. The snails aren’t as rubbery as those I had in Paris so that’s a plus! Lots of different textures with there were two small sheets of pasta (perhaps parsley/spinach pasta?) and crunchy wafers. The parsley cream on its own is strong and peppery but worked so well when combined with everything else. Perfection.
For dessert, we both shared the soufflé au fruit de la passion – passion fruit soufflé (all desserts are $14). The soufflé was light as air and fluffy. The coconut ice cream and foam were smooth and creamy, one of the best coconut ice creams I’ve had in a long time with a strong coconut flavour. A white chocolate ball sits on some shredded sponge. We were told to be careful with the white chocolate ball as it was filled with a hot liquid and might explode.
So carefully cracking through the ball, we let the golden hot passion fruit syrup ooze out. I had a spoonful to try and nearly burnt my mouth as it had a lot of chilli in it. Whoops. I should’ve taken more notice of the strip of chilli lying on top of the chocolate ball. I really liked the different flavours of sweet, spicy, and sour on this well thought out dish.
It wouldn’t be French without some cheese! A selection of cheeses are written up on the cheese board at the front. A cheese platter can be made up if wanted however I couldn’t see the price on the menu.
I do love the fact that wait staff are all French. There was a bit of a communication problem with the staggering of food coming out. Since I’d ordered two entrees as my ‘main’, our waitress thought we were sharing and so V had to wait quite a while for her food to come out. This was eventually cleared up and the escargot and duck came out at the same time. Other than that, service was friendly and professional with water being refilled regularly. I had a pleasant dinner experience and headed back for brunch.
This time we chose a seat outdoors since it was such a warm sunny morning. Coffee orders were taken and tap water provided. Cosmorex coffee is used and both V and I liked our coffees (around the $4 mark).
I already knew what I wanted for brunch – the Crêpe Suzette ($14) with orange and Grand Marnier. Three crêpes came out soaked in syrup and these was beautifully caramelised. The orange slices were fresh, sweet and juicy. Just what I needed!
V had the salade au bleu and quinoa – quinoa and kale salad with French blue cheese crumble and orange ($17). Not a fan of blue cheese, she asked for the blue cheese to be substituted with another type of cheese which wasn’t a problem for the chef. Again the orange slices were sweet and delicious offering a pop of colour in the salad.
The address states Les Bistronomes is on Mort Street, but it’s actually on Elouera Street close to Mort Street, opposite Bentspoke Brewing Co. Les Bistronomes is open Tues to Sat for dinner, Tues to Fri for lunch, and both Sat and Sun for brunch.