Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Bistro des Artistes, 6008

When I heard French chef extraordinaire, Alain Fabregues and pastry magician, Emmanuel Mollois were opening a French bistro together, I knew it was going to be a match made in French culinary heaven.

The restaurant located on Hay St, is an airy light-filled room with polished floors, wooden bistro chairs and floor-to-ceiling mirrored wall. The room is dotted with Alain’s own whimsical artworks, mostly of which are food. The place is charming, light, and softly elegant.

You order from a set menu – two courses for $45 or three for $50, including unlimited supply of crunchy French baguette. This is superb value for the quality of food. 

For entrée I ordered Salade Nicoise my way, with Tuna, Anchovies, tomato, eggs, cos lettuce, potato salad, herbs. Every element was cooked to perfection and arranged meticulously on the plate. Potatoes blanched, tuna seared, and eggs poached, with precision. Even the little crunchy herbed crouton set off praise. Attention to detail is Alain's and Emmanuel’s strong suit. 

Tuna Nicoise
I have been to Bistro des Artistes twice, and after trying the Salmon Sausage aux Aromates with mash potato the first time, I couldn’t go past it today. Delicate salmon sausage rests on creamy garlic mash and a pool of tarragon herbed butter sauce. So good! The dish is crowned with a sweet little pastry crescent. Emmanuel takes charge of the sweet stuff, but traces of his pastry artistry are speckled throughout the savoury menu. Cute. 

Salmon sausage
The Duck confit with Sauté potatoes and pepper sauce didn’t disappoint either. The tender duck meat just about rolled off the cutlery, and the sauce had a unique flavour.

Duck confit
For desserts we shared a Floating Island and Caramel walnut tart with coffee brulée. My favourite was the tart. The coffee mousse was gooey-caramel and fluffy-whip-divine. And the pastry base? Emmanuelle’s marvelous work with pastry is unmatched. 

Floating Island and Caramel walnut tart with coffee brulee
So the food received rave reviews and the ambience was lovely, but the service does need a bit of polishing. Cutlery was forgotten, bread crumbs left  uncleared, and menu items not clearly explained. The positives definitely outweigh those negatives though.

Food: 4/5 (Delicious authentic French cuisine, thoughtful plating, careful details)
Ambience: 4/5 (Light, airy, comfortably classy)
Service: 2.5/5 (Friendly but a bit away with the fairies)
Value: 4/5 ($50 for three courses of first class French cuisine is fantastic value)

Le Bistro des Artistes on Urbanspoon

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