I’ve been most anxious to visit Bistro Guillaume since it opened in September last year at Crown Perth in Burswood.
My interest in the French classics by chef Guillaume Brahimi all started in 2008, when I had my first glimpse of his two-hatted Sydney restaurant, Guillaume at Bennelong, as I pressed my nose up against the windows of Sydney Opera House.
More recently, I also thoroughly enjoyed watching Guillaume with Maeve O’Meara on the SBS series, French Food Safari.
On a Sunday late last year, TFP and Jac joined J and I at Crown Perth for a leisurely lunch. We were shown to a window-side table by a Lacoste polo-wearing waiter, with a perfect view of the recently revamped Crown Metropol pool. Fancy.
It just wouldn’t be a bistro meal for me without a golden, crusty hunk of baguette to start.
It’s made even more fantastic with lashings of butter (of course) and fleur de sel.
If refreshment is what you’re after, you can’t go past the Daily Burst. This zingy pineapple mocktail is sweet, fresh and served ice cold.
For my first course, it had to be oysters. Plump Pacific or Sydney rock oysters ($21 half dozen, $42 dozen) were on offer that Sunday, but I only had eyes for the sweet and briny Sydney rocks.
They were beautiful unadorned, but equally delicious with a drizzle of lemon or shallots with red wine vinegar.
Jac was very impressed with her choice, the classic Onion soup ($18). Though it’s covered with oozing cheese and topped with a creamy foam, it’s the onion-spiked flavoursome broth that can’t be beat.
J’s Charcuterie Platter ($26) looks more like a meal than a starter – but we’re all more than happy to lend a hand, helping him take care of the generous servings of pork rillettes, terrine, silky smooth pate, and cured meats on smoky chargrilled bread.
TFP’s eyes light up as she samples her dish, generously studded with glossy chunks of a whole marron and cherry tomatoes that glisten like jewels on top of avocado cream ($30).
If seafood is your thing, you won’t be stuck for choice at Bistro Guillaume. I had a bit of a chuckle at the Anglicised menu, which I noticed after Jac ordered the Mussels Marinieres ($30).
This classic dish (which you probably also know as Moules Marinieres) is served with crisp and hot french fries, which are just perfect for dipping into the delicious leek and white wine sauce.
J’s John Dory with beurre noisette, capers and lemon ($38) is simply adorned, but packs a punch in terms of flavour. The John Dory is perfectly cooked, with firm yet tender white flesh that’s enhanced even more by the tang of the capers and lemon.
Naturally, J is intent on mopping up every drop of beurre noisette (browned butter, which, when translated literally means hazelnut butter). Jac’s spare french fries are just the thing to take care of it.
Before we’d even been seated, TFP and I had already known that we wanted to try one of Guillaume’s signature dishes for two, the roasted whole Liveringa organic chicken served with Paris mash and tarragon jus ($75).
Luckily for the two hungry sisters, the golden roasted chicken is helpfully chopped ‘Chinese style’ into eight, making it easy to tuck in.
The chicken is wonderfully tender, and flavoured with fragrant tarragon.
It needs nothing more than a drizzle of amber-coloured jus and a generous dollop of super creamy Paris mash. In my head I’m visualising Guillaume in the kitchen, telling his Commis, ‘more butter, more butter‘ while they whip it to smooth creamy perfection.
It only takes a brief moment for all of us to decide on dessert after the plates are cleared away. Jac decides she won’t order a dish of her own, wisely opting to sample from ours instead.
The tart du jour is TFP’s choice. Today’s offering – chocolate and pear ($17) - reminds me of another French classic, Pears Belle Helene, a dessert which makes good use of the fantastic combination of creamy chocolate and sweet poached pear. This takes the classic combination and encases it in crisp pate brisee (shortcrust pastry).
The profiteroles ($18) were calling to me. There were crispy and light, and filled with generous scoops of creamy vanilla bean ice cream.
And topped with a creamy and rich warm chocolate sauce. I loved watching the sauce being drizzled over the profiteroles – and our lovely waiter was only to happy to oblige by moving slowly as I snapped away.
When I started post-processing the photos of our dessert for this post, I realised I had only one choice.
Animated GIFs! ;)
J’s fantastic chocolate souffle with pistachio ice cream ($22) was completely mesmerising . It was fun to watch as the waiter plunged a quenelle of pale green pistachio ice cream into the warm souffle.
I thoroughly enjoyed our meal at Bistro Guillaume, and loved the green-themed interiors even more.
Note to future self: lime green + marble counter tops = cool.