Vanessa: A midweek catch up with friends brought us to the quaint little French bistro, ‘Le Bouchon’. Situated in Crows Nest’s dining district, I will say from the outset that this is one to put on the list. A fine recommendation from one of our friends allowed us to experience a lovely evening of French cuisine, in a small intimate setting, with French waiters to boot!
Being a school night, we felt obligated to exercise some control on the eating and drinking front so refrained from opting for the 8 course degustation menu ($95), although it does give me added incentive to return! The dinner menu offers 3 courses for $60 which is very reasonably priced and if you fancy a glass or two of vino, you will be pleased with the extensive wine list which is heavily geared towards French regional wines .
We were delighted at the sight of our waiter bringing forth an amuse bouche for us to enjoy prior to our meal. We were served an espresso cup filled with a vibrant ‘Pea soup infused with truffle oil’. This was a truly a great start to our meals backed up by a statement made by one of our diners, who proclaimed “I would have licked the espresso cup if I could” ..that’s how good it was.
We were a a party of six that evening and had strategically ordered a good mix of meals between us to try a bit of everything. Entrees arrived and the smell of garlic and olive oil wafted through the air, which is always a comforting sensation for me. I personally opted for the ‘French onion soup’, as I can’t seem to go past it if it’s on offer. The portion size was good, the toasted baquette with gruyere were delicious and the soup was substantial, although lacked a bit of seasoning for my taste.
The crowd pleaser on the entree front that evening was the ‘Escargot’ served with a warm baguette to soak up the flavours. Not only was this dish visually appealing it also had just the right mix of garlic, olive oil, tomatoes and herbs to compliment the escargot. This is a dish I don’t normally enjoy and would never order, however, after tasting this serve I would put it on the list for next time.
The other visually pleasing entrée on the table was the ‘Bacon wrapped scallops with blue cheese mousseline and baby herbs’. The scallops were juicy and paired well with the accompaniments. They were also beautifully presented.
As we were very impressed with the first course, we eagerly awaited our mains. Between us we had ordered the ‘Confit duck leg with carrot puree , The Sauteed Calves Liver with Pomme Puree’ and the fish of the day, which are all priced at $32 each.
Confit Duck Leg
Sauteed Calves Livers
I personally opted for the fist of the day which was Hapuku, a lovely light textured fillet which had been pan fried to perfection. It was paired well with sauteed radish and brusell sprouts.
Fish of the day
Reaching tipping point I opted out of dessert but was happy that others were able to squeeze them in . The dessert menu isn’t extensive but what is available sounds delicious. The waiters brought us an ‘Affogato’ with a shot of piping hot coffee and Frangelico liquor by accident but we gladly accepted it!
We had also ordered the ‘Berry claffoutis‘ served with walnut and toffee ice cream and the ‘Chilled nougat souffle’. I may have only had a bite of each of these but that was enough to appreciate the work that had gone into creating them and the thought behind their well balanced flavours.
Chilled Nougat Souffle
If it is an authentic French meal in a relaxed setting you are after, that won’t break the bank, then I highly recommend you pay a visit to Le Bouchon. The food was sensational and really did leave me wanting to experience more. I am looking forward to going back to try the degustation!