New Zealand, Christchurch - St Germain

St Germain - Brioche Perdue & Foie Gras

St Germain offers up some delicious dishes on their menu. With so much to choose from, I selected The French Way – a degustation of dishes on the menu in smaller servings. This is also an excellent way to be introduced to some typical and famous French dishes. I love the French bread and the French onion soup to start off with was delicious and heart-warming. The escargot in a lovely blue cheese sauce was also excellent and then there was the cleverly put together foie gras. A recreation of a savoury apple crumble, the brioche base formed the crumb, a soft and flavoursome apple filling the apple component, and then the foie gras’s rich and creamy characteristics were used like whipped cream. A lovely pear sorbet with a dash of whisky followed to cleanse the palette before the main of cassoulet was served. The duck was just fantastic with the sauce even better. The highlight of the meal, I loved this dish. I love cheese so a selection of 4 French cheeses with salad and toasted raisin bread were an excellent pairing to enjoy. Lastly, if the experience couldn’t pack in any more food, 2 silken crepes immersed in an orange and grand marnier syrup were thoroughly enjoyed with Chantilly cream. An excellent representation of French cuisine. Superb. . . . → Read More: New Zealand, Christchurch – St Germain

New Zealand, Auckland - La Cigale French Markets

La Cigale French Markets

Cuisine: Cafe, Breakfast, Markets Location: New Zealand, Auckland – Parnell

La Cigale French Markets

Last day in Auckland and as the food on foot tour was cancelled, the operator who runs it, Lynn from Finding Flavours, happens to be a fellow foodie and blogger. She suggested I head to the French markets . . . → Read More: New Zealand, Auckland – La Cigale French Markets

New Zealand, Auckland - Chateaubriand

Chateaubriand - Quiche & Rocket Salad

In a purely residential area lies this quaint little French caf√© that has a strong following from the locals. Unlike other cafe’s, they don’t have a menu. There are a bunch of pre-prepared items to help yourself to and pay at the counter. You can have those items dine in as I did, where my quiche was warmed up and I was also offered a simple but delicious rocket salad. The quiche had lovely bacon surrounded by a fluffy filling and excellent pastry. I also treated myself to a delicious chocolate √©clair. Delicious. . . . → Read More: New Zealand, Auckland – Chateaubriand

New Zealand, Auckland - French Cafe

French Cafe - Roasted Quail

As I slowly savoured the first few items that were presented, the couple next to me who were just leaving mentioned I was in for a treat. How right they were. Fine dining at it’s best, I enjoyed a selection of delicious, creative, and well executed dishes that delivered on flavour, all enjoyed in intimate surrounds with professional service. From the appetizer of the potato crisp, to the amuse bouche of pumpkin soup, to the house made bread with flavoured butter varieties, the start of the meal was excellent. I really loved the creativity shown in the first course of snapper cerviche. Perfectly balanced flavours presented an excellent dish. The next course was the highlight for me. The roasted quail was superb with that earthy chestnut puree. The last course of snapper was an equally delicious dish. Despite having to forgot dessert, the palette cleansing ginger and pear granita was just the perfect end to the meal. . . . → Read More: New Zealand, Auckland – French Cafe

USA, New York - Per Se

Per Se - Nova Scotia Lobster

An interesting experience in a setting with wonderful views, ambience, and professional service. I much preferred the style of menu in tonight’s dinner compared to 11 Madison Park if comparisons can be drawn. Many of the dishes were lovely, some fantastic, but what was a recurring issue, maybe issue is too harsh a word, was that some elements just didn’t marry up effectively. The halibut, lobster, quail, and cheese were examples. Fantastic proteins cooked to perfection but let down slightly, or worse with the halibut, by elements which didn’t truly complement the dish. The additional elements should have their place to counteract other flavours (eg sweet v sour), or provide a textual contrast, and most importantly complement and better yet, elevate, the overall dish. But on several occasions, this didn’t occur. The salmon cornetto, caviar, summer melon, and desserts were excellent meals and overall I had a positive experience and was comfortably full. It did come with a hefty price tag though, so on that basis I’d still lean towards The Ledbury as my first choice and Petrus second. Just my opinion and what suits my tastes. Others will no doubt disagree. I’m very happy to have experienced dining at such a well regarded restaurant. . . . → Read More: USA, New York – Per Se

UK, London - The Ledbury

The Ledbury - Course # 1: White Asparagus, Ham, Morel Mushroom

My first time to a world ranked and Michelin starred restaurant, I loved every moment of my dining experience. Not sure if because I’m an Aussie I got slightly special treatment given the restaurant is run by Aussie chef, Brett Graham, but the dining experience from the fantastic service in a wonderful setting, the quiet, reserved, and classy ambience, topped by delicious food made for a wonderful night, worth every cent. The highlight in food terms was the pork jowl. I did eat something a little similar (using veal) in Paris, but I have never eaten anything which made pork taste so good. The different level of flavours and textures of the dish were brilliant and all elements, not just in this dish, but every dish I ate, just sang in harmony. I was also impressed with the first course which was predominately vegetarian, yet packed so much flavour, it didn’t really make you miss meat. The dessert was another highlight of the night. I’ve made souffles at home but never eaten one at a restaurant. The passionfruit souffle presented to me was superb. Light, airy, with just enough sweetness and passionfruit flavour, a superbly balanced dish. I was very impressed and rated this amongst one of the top fine dining experiences of my 6 week holiday. I would easily go back again in a heartbeat, if only I didn’t have to travel across the other side of the world. Memorable. . . . → Read More: UK, London – The Ledbury

Bouchon Bistro - 8 May 2013

Bouchon Bistro - Strawberry Mousse

Bouchon Bistro would have to be the best French restaurant in Perth my friend and I have visited thus far. We found the dishes to be solid without being spectacular and held their own in terms of flavour. Unlike other French restaurants we’ve visited, the dessert hasn’t been the only highlight. I loved the pre-starter beef neck which was ultra tender, the pork terrine was a first time experience but I loved the parsley and mustard “cake”, the tender juicy moist spatchcock breast was delicious, the potato gratin was also tasty, and that delicious array of desserts on one plate to finish to the meal was superb. Having said that, the French bistro L’Angelus in Singapore I’ve visited on both trips there blow Bouchon Bistro out of the water. There is quite a difference to what I ate their and at Bouchon. In terms of price, Bouchon is very pricey and only due to the Dimmi 50% off the food bill did it make the dinner a bargain. L’Angelus would have charged similar prices when converted into Aussie dollars but quality wise, was worth every cent. . . . → Read More: Bouchon Bistro – 8 May 2013

Choux Cafe - 21 Dec 2012

Choux Cafe - Selection

I didn’t care much for the tarte du jour but the jools was fantastic! I absolutely loved the strawberry mousse center which was light and airy and full of flavour. It was a lovely late afternoon snack. . . . → Read More: Choux Cafe – 21 Dec 2012

Bistro Felix - 18 Dec 2012

Bistro Felix - Bitter Chocolate Cake

Walking into the neat and carefully presented restaurant with dim lighting creates a lovely atmosphere to enjoy a quiet dinner. The service was professional, efficient and excellent. On the food front, however, it disappointed. While the meals are expensive, the 2 or 3 course options are good value. My duck was enjoyable with the sweet and acidic flavour of the cabbage, but when the side of creamy soft mash with delicious seasoning of herbs steals the show from the star of the dish, you know they haven’t executed the dish as well as intended. It was a very underwhelming dish lacking any punch with the exception of the potato. I didn’t detect any pancetta or oxtail unless I missed it. I liked the cabbage but it’s sweetness became a bit intense towards the end of the meal. The small bite of my friend’s steak was disappointing – lacking flavour, seasoning, taste and was chewy. One expects better from a fine dining type establishment. On the dessert front, the small taste I had of the white chocolate and ginger cheesecake was heaven! Stunning dessert with excellent texture, melt in your mouth goodness and flavour. My bitter chocolate cake possessed a strong and intense denseness and brooding dark chocolate flavour. It’s a great way to finish off a meal but a smaller quantity is required for the strong in your face flavour. It becomes a struggle to finish off. All in all a lovely night, but a disappointing dinner which drained the hip pocket including the surcharge on the credit card. Not the best representation of French cuisine. . . . → Read More: Bistro Felix – 18 Dec 2012

La Brasserie De Paris - 18 Sep 2012

I enjoyed the different dishes sampled over the course of the evening. I was glad to try snails and it wasn’t anything revolting, quite standard actually. The combination of escargot with potato, garlic, bacon and parsley was superb. The main meal was solid without being spectacular. Tasty, great flavours, but I thought it could have delivered more. I really enjoyed the creme anglaise with the caramel sauce and that taste of creme brulee was amazing! I thought the mains were a little overpriced for what was delivered but was reasonably priced otherwise and service was satisfactory. It’s a lovely setting to enjoy a quiet dinner, particularly if you were on a date or a quiet special occasion. . . . → Read More: La Brasserie De Paris – 18 Sep 2012