Chocolate soufflé with pistachio ice cream
Little, tiny black and white tiles that line the entrance give hint to what is inside Bistro Guillaume. The restaurant’s fit out, from the green wishbone chairs to the antler chandeliers and bouffant lanterns, is absolutely gorgeous. For a reportedly cool $8 million dollars, no detail in the decor has been left unturned. If a meal is meant to be an escape, Bistro Guillaume has done it. It’s a bistro, that at least for a meal, is as good as a ticket to Paris. Even the waiters have French accents!
Bistro Guillaume is all about classic bistro food. There’s nothing ground breaking on the menu, just tried and tested French favourites. Actually, particular eaters (chicken lovers especially) may find it useful to look at the menu online before going in, just in case.
Complimentary bread is served with the meal. The pieces of baguette are rustic, with a chewy crust and bubbly, pock marked interior. Needless to say it’s excellent with liberal amounts of butter. (The bread is uncannily similar to Rockpool’s, sourced from Jean Pierre Sancho.)
I have to admit we did have another round of bread. And butter too. (In hindsight a rookie mistake – never fill up on bread…)
Before we knew it, our cold starters were served. The entrees were more generous than expected with the marron salad full of plump marron tail and lots of avocado cream. The salad was crisp and light and I liked the twist on the avocado, lending a different texture to the mostly crunchy ensemble. The marron was sweet, clean tasting and well cooked.
Whole marron with tomato, cos lettuce and avocado cream.
Steak tartare of Dandaragan organic beef
Even though I’m not sure why I like steak tartare, you can bet I’ll always order it. Steak tartare is basically finely diced steak (apparently it can even be hamburger mince as Julia Child once demonstrated) that’s spiced, then seasoned with capers, onions, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and sometimes cornichons. The steak however, has to be sparkling fresh.
It’s lot like sashimi in that at first, you expect it to taste fishy (or beefy in this case) but it does not. Absent is the wholesome, bloody flavour of a rare steak; instead what shines is the texture of the beef. It’s tender, smooth and so sharp with seasoning, that it makes you gasp at first bite. The mingling of the raw and pickled taste is really addictive. You can add more hot sauce at your leisure – each table has a bottle of green pepper Tabasco and Dijon mustard. The tartare is served with waffled potato crisps that make tasty, crunchy, make shift spoons. The serving of tartare was much larger than expected – next time I’d share this as a starter.
Veal sweetbreads with a fricassee of mushrooms and truffle
Our meal just got better from there. (How I wish I had seen the size of the mains before ordering the tartare!) Cooked till meltingly soft in the centre, the veal sweetbreads were so tender they could have been eaten with a spoon. Sweetbreads are thymus glands (sweetbreads sounds better, doesn’t it?!) which gradually dissipate as a calf matures into a cow. Compared with other offal, sweetbreads are unusually mild in flavour.
Caramelised and crispy around the edges and entirely threaded by fat, the sweetbreads had an overwhelming buttery, savoury flavour. Those pan fried edges of the sweetbreads, achieved no doubt with a guilty pat of butter, were irresistible. The whole dish, even the fricassee of various mushrooms which were a fibrous, (almost) healthy foil to the organs was seasoned well and with just a bit of truffle, brought the dish together.
Leg of duck confit with peas, shallot and speck.
K’s duck confit was really good. I know, duck confit is the clichéd always tender, always crisp and always melt in the mouth – but this one was an very, very good rendition. The kind worth ordering every single visit. Generously portioned, the fall-off-the-bone duck legs were surrounded by some innocuous peas and bacon which took the dish to another level altogether. Turns out bits of speck and peas work awesomely together in butter. (But then everything seems to work well in butter…) It seems having not one, nor two, but three kinds of fat in a dish (count them – bacon fat, duck fat and butter – a lot of butter) proves that more is indeed, more.
If you’re hesitant about what to order, order this duck confit. However, don’t overdo it like we did. We couldn’t for the life of us finish the side order of potato gratin dauphinois after consuming the mains. I thought I’d never say this but, there’s a limit to how much butter even I can eat…
Gratin dauphinois – bloody delicious!
The only hiccup in the entire meal was, strangely enough, the tea. Bistro Guillaume serves the venerable Mariage Freres tea but what arrived in my teapot was extremely over brewed to the point it looked like black coffee. Once pointed out it was quickly replaced by a chamomile tea (at my choosing).
As you can see one, Bistro Guillaume’s chocolate soufflé was certainly memorable. Fully risen and proudly puffed up in a copper saucepan, the soufflé arrived accompanied with a waiter, who upon arrival and with a hint of showmanship, plunged the pistachio ice cream right into the soufflé. At the peak of its ascent, the soufflé was incredibly light, cooked through and lightly scented with chocolate.
We gobbled up the airy, fluffy soufflé in a few seconds flat – I don’t even think it got the chance to deflate. The ice cream was a decadent contrast to the foamy soufflé being nutty and smooth from being freshly churned.
My wedge of strawberry tart was the blackboard special of the day. It wasn’t what I expected (I thought it would be a cream filled tart for some reason). Crowned with tart strawberries, this biscuity and restrained dessert was a better alternative. Cutting through the simple tart and lavishing each forkful with a dollop of Guillaume’s famously intense vanilla ice cream, the tart was a content finish the meal.
If you are fond of French food, get yourself here quick smart. The decor is stunning – Bistro Guillaume would win best dressed restaurant if there ever was such an accolade. The food is a smidgen under Must Winebar’s standards but the service and ambience makes up for any relative shortcomings and more.
Burswood Entertainment Complex, Great Eastern Highway, Burswood WA 6100
T: (08) 9362 7551
Open Friday – Sunday 12 noon – late, Monday –Thursday 5.30pm – late
add a comment.
You may use Markdown syntax in your comments.