Paris was raining like no tomorrow. Almost every day it rained. We were heading off to Denmark this afternoon so we felt like some souffle as we didn’t have it during this trip. We heard about this place on a guide book and it was close to La Fayet and on the way back to the hotel. It was during a weekday so they had a lunch special.
They obviously specialised in souffle and had different liquors for their souffles on show.
We both went for the lunch special which included sparking water or wine. We went for the sparkling water.
Gotta have your bread in France.
Came with a salad as well.
French orchid as well on the table
IK went for the chicken souffle with sauce and then a dessert souffle after.
I went for a main course fries with chicken instead. The fries were amazing
The sauce that went into the souffle.
There was a whole cabinet filled with grand mariner.
The souffles were huge! I wondered how many egg whites goes into one of these. So I went for the grand marinier souffle. The waiter dug a little hole and filled it and then poured it around. It was soft and amazing.
IK went for a sour cherry chocolate one. I ended up having 1.5 souffles.
Finished with a coffee… I miss Melbourne so much!
A little cute card to keep afterwards!
Beautiful shop front.
Rating : 14/20
Dish of the day : Obviously the souffle. but the main was also nice. Grand Marnier souffle for sure
Tip : Go for lunch, lunch special is quite reasonable.
Craving for French and you tend to miss it when you’ve just come back from a massive Europe trip. We are pretty fortunate Melbourne has almost every cuisine you can think of. Was catching with with a friend so decided to try entrecote. There are two entrecotes; one in the city and one in South Yarra. The one here has a no booking policy so you just rock up. Situated between collins and little collins, used to be where Prix Fixe was. All the restaurants who have taken on this premises hadn’t really taken off. I guess the location and is quieter than other streets in the CBD.
We came early thinking we’d need to wait for a while. But nope it was empty as.
Pretty basic menu. Their speciality is the steak frites, but they do have some traditional French dishes and seafood as well.
Brings back memories when I had this at the Eiffel Tower.
IK was craving for her usual Aperol Spritz.
Some bread to start.
IK wanted French onion Soup and here it is. Nothing fancy like what Vue De Monde serves, but just traditional French onion soup. Nothing memorable but it was nice.
I shared some escargots with my friend and it was nice as well. Again nothing memorable.
Their signature dish – Steak Frites. So steaks and fries. It was “free flowing fries” so if you have finished the fries, you can ask for more. The steak was nice, but again not the best steak I had.
Came with a salad as well which was refreshing.
French food always seem to be filling and we were pretty full. However, we had to order a dessert. IK was craving for a Mille-feuille. It was alright, lots of creme fraiche. Luxemborg does a better one though – its crunchier.
Had a little seafood bar in the kitchen.
Some roses as well. You know the French are romantic afterall.
Overall, it’s nice to have traditional French cuisine every now and again. Maybe we were spoilt with the various French eateries in Paris and you really can’t compare. It is a bit disappointing how this premises hasn’t taken off yet. It has a nice vibe in there but the tables and the space between each table were quite small. You really need to be thin as to get through.
Rating : 12.5/20. Sorry we were too spoilt in France.
Dish of the day : Steak frites. Yup free flowing fries. It is a bit pricey imo $39 bucks for it.
I booked this a month ago before the trip and I have to say I’m pretty damn excited. There are a couple of Joel Robuchons in Paris. They are also all around the world like in Japan, Hong Kong, London, Macau etc. Michelin star restaurant and world famous. The one in France should be the best right? Here we go. We walked from Champ De Elysees to the Saint German branch which took 30 mins. So IK was hungry, tired and sick of walking by the time we got there. It’s a fairly dark place and with all the de Joel Robuchon restaurants, they all have the black and red theme.
We were greeted and led to the communal bar table which sits around 15 right around. They have 2 sittings and I could understand why this is one effective way to serve all 15 guests at once with really one waiter. This waiter could speak 5 different languages apparently and I have to say the French are impressive with their english. Better than I anticipated.
So there are two choices. The Tasting menu or a la carte. They didn’t really explain very much as i think everyone just goes for the tasting menu. The only difference is you get to choose the main. AND, the menu was all in French and there was no point getting the dictionary out.
The first dish was the Amuse Bouche.To start, Le Crabe Royale – Aux Fine Lamelles de <Daikon> Epicees
Came with a basket of bread which we didn’t touch as we knew there was better things to come.
It was an open kitchen, the head chef overlooking his staff whilst they were at work. He seems pretty young in his 30s and very cool demeanor about him, no typical chef’s hats and white aprons.
This next starter was the le gaspacho – a la catalane, croutons dores sous un sorbet moutarde a l’ancienne. Pretty much a soup with a mustard sorbet. It was a cold dish, but having cold soup was actually good. Opens the palate up.
le caviar – seems to be a common theme during this europe trip for me! sur une <cerviche> de saumon, glace aux agrumes peruviens. A cerviche of salmon with ice underneath and peruvian citrus. I had so much caviar but it is pretty reasonable in Europe esp in Scandanavian countries.
Next up was Les Girolles – et l’artichaut sur un <Macaroni Vegetal> dore au comte. Here we have chanterelle mushrooms on top, Macaroni with vegetal inside. Basically a bit fat pasta with basks and count with a sprinkle of saffron on the side. Out of all the dishes, probably wasn’t my favourite. Tasty regardless.
L’oeuf (The Egg) it translates to Cocotte en <meurette> sus une fine croustade. Basically a casserole in a red wine sauce with fine croutons. This was amazing.
I was yearning for this in France. Le Foie Gras! – de canard chaud, cerises et amandes fraiches dans un jus acidule a l’hibiscus . Foie gras was so rich but a combination with the cherry with a hibiscus jus was just perfect. It was delicious!
Le Saint- Pierre – grille, asperges sauvages sur une emulsion coco-tandoori, citron verte et poivre de <timut>. This was like a little seafood soup. Grilled wild asparagus on a coconut emulsion, tandoori, lemon and green peppers with some clams. This was just unbelievable.
there were a few choices for the mains but i went for the sweet breads. Le Ris De Veau – cloute de laurier frais a la feuille de romaine farcie . The leaf on top seemed like a eucalyptus leaf. This was very rich and each time i hear short breads, I forget out rich it is.
IK ordered the L’agneau De Lait – en cotelettes a la fleur de thym. Milk lamb chops in thyme. The thyme was so fresh the chops were small but tasty. A side of mashed potatoes on the side which was filled with rich butter.
A bit more mashed potatoes here. Way too much but so rich, full of flavour.
Finally we start the desserts. L’Agrume – pamplemousse et orange sous un sorbet a la mandarine et son croquant au citron vert Almost like a creme brulee citrus version – Grapefruit and orange sorbet, in a crisp mandarin and lime. This was so refreshing after so much heaviness in the food. The crips broke with a nice crack and had a mousse inside. Yum!!
To finish up Le Chocolat Tentation. Very interesting dessert, a nice round chocolate crisp around, with some citrusy flavours on top, a little chocolate dome int hemiddle and chocolate soil underneath in a separate bowl. The idea is to pick some of the top bit up and layer it with some chocolate soil. French cuisine was definitely out of this world.
The tummy was struggling but we thought maybe a coffee would help. Some more caramel and friands to just top it off. Coffee was awful btw.
This family walked out of the restaurant and guess who we saw – ZLATAN. omg. drove off in a volvo lol. Then another woman came with some body guards – I think she was from the embassy here or something. Definitely alot of high flyers about eting at this place. Wonderful experience. It was definitely rushed, but the quality of the food was top notch.
We wanted to check out the new Tokyo Sky Tree Tower which was quite close to Asakusa. We took the train and got off at Oshiage station and walked the Tokyo sky tree.
to climb this beast.
Our friend who has been working in Sapporo until recently has never been, so we went together. The queue was crazy, it was like a maze of humans and one of our other friends told us he waited 3 hours last time! My god… Luckily we waited maybe 30 mins. So theres 2 observation decks. The first one goes up to 350m (Tembo Sky deck) and then you pay to go further up to 450m (Tembo Galleria). Galleria was smaller, also had 360 degree views but was less crowded.
But look at the night views you can get once you’re up there… You just wonder how friggin big Tokyo is.
The views are just spectacular.
Just thinking this can never happen in Australia…
There are quite a few interactive screens as well to learn more about Tokyo.
We managed to get a shot of santa up there as well.
The views up Tokyo Sky tree are amazing. There were a lot of people so be warned. After checking out sky tree, the boys took us to a French / Japanese restaurant called Bistro Bizen. Bizen is the Japanese pottery. So every dish etc is made out of porcelin or Bizen as they call it.
We were a bit early by 30 mins or so and they wouldn’t let us in… So typical of Japanese, you have to come back at the RIGHT time. Anyway we felt like a beer and snack so we went to the Izakaya next door to have some skewers and izakaya food.
Fancy some offal? pretty damn good izakaya. One thing I didn’t like is that people can still smoke in restaurants etc.
We went back after 30 mins or so and were welcomed by some friendly Japanese staff. It’s only a very small restaurant, maybe 10-12 tables at most. So we sat down and were given the menu. Apparently there were a few items on the menu you MUST have. You choose i think 3 dishes you want to have and thats pretty much it. Our friend on the left is pretty enthusiastic about food so he was explaining each dish.
Ever had French food with chopsticks? Well you do at Bistro Bizen… Everything is Bizen, even the little vase is made from bizen.
The cutlery are so perfectly arranged. On the right is the menu. There were a few specials
The flower arrangement was pretty impressive. A few Chandeliers and a cosy restaurant.
We were offered some champagne to start. We ordered a bottle and IK ordered pear juice.
You’d think these were white chocolate balls. WRONG – butter to start of course. Bread was warm and crispy.
First up was our entrees. IK had some sashimi with radishes and salmon roe. I had some lobster i think with fresh fruit!
Don’t forget the cork.
The mains or in between mains and entrees were amazing too. How about froe grois with rice ? Or fancy some abalone? These were french inspired but had this Japanese influence in these dishes. I think they marry quite well. The froe grois was rich and creamy and the creaminess is nullified by the rice.
Next was some soup
The mains didn’t disappoint as well. Lobster and beef. Again Japanese inspired dressings but beautifully cooked.
Had to have some dessert as well. We had a mix of a few cakes, truffles, and a little surprise from the restaurant. Even had our faces on it!
Overall, Bistro Bizen was truely a different perspective of French cuisine. The mains and entrees were excellent and the service typical of Japanese. IK was quite suprised about the crowd in the restuarant. We were the only younger ones, and were wearing just normal casual clothes. The table next to us had 2 couples and IK was suprised how upright the Japanese women sat. They laughed covering their mouths and she felt they were a bit fake. Our friends said, once they get home they don’t act like that. I guess its quite important in Japanese culture they impress and do what the norm does. But i guess having that culture, they seem to perfect everything and this restaurant is no different.
4-3 Kandasurugadai, Chiyoda 101-0062, Tokyo Prefecture
Another Andrew McConnell’s empire we wanted to conquer. Use to be where Golden Fields was. Don’t know if it was just rebranding their restaurant, or the old golden fields turned into supernormal. Something their marketing department has obviously decided to do. This French inspired restaurant still has similar layout as the old Golden Fields. Long bar table right across the restaurant (similar to Supernormal). The food from McConnell’s restaurants seem all to have great quality. We’re hoping much the same this time round.
One page menu with a range of small snacks, raw seafood, charcuterie, small and large plates. Like all restaurants nowadays, typical sharing type menu. Couldn’t really choose so we decided to go for the Chef’s menu. We did have some oysters which were half price because we had it before 6:30 or something.
couldn’t go past some 1/2 priced oysters so ordered 1/2 a dozen. Came with some tabasco, red wine vinaigrette shallots and horseradish. think some where some Claire De Clune oysters. (same oysters we had at Supernormal (see review here ).
Another common theme with the McConnell’s empire is raw dishes. Here we have sea bream sashimi, horseradish, buttermilk and dill. chefs who were preparing it were right in front of us, so our mouths were salivating like no tomorrow. Could do with some more sauce i felt. Can be a bit dry with horse radish. Refreshing regardless.
Comparable to the lobster roll at Supernormal. Think their lobster roll is better, but just looking back at this photo, remembered how tasty this was. Crunchy soft shell crab and some nice tartare to go with it. nom nom!
We were practically full after having this charcuterie. The terrine was massive.
Quite liked our pre main dish. Smoked duck with 2 types of radicchio (as you can it can be quite bitter) some cooked, some fresh. Add some acidity with the grapes does make a killing combination. Probably the dish of the day for me.
Could hardly hold my stomach now but still got this to go through. Now we asians are picky when eating chicken. Westerners always like having the breast, asians the thigh. They did wrap chicken thigh in a fillet which was extremely succulent and soft. I thought the breast part was going to be a bit rough and dry, but they poached this to perfect. It was soft, juicy and had great flavour as well. Brussell Sprouts is not IK’s favourite but i liked it because i hardly eat it!
Forgot we had some salad to accompany it. So full right now.
Ok IK obviously saved some space for the desserts. This Mille-feuille was delicious, crunchy. I wished they had bit more sauce again. Quince and creme was delicious as well.
how about pumpkin for dessert? Haven’t had a pumpkin dessert for a while, but shows savoury ingredients can make good desserts as well. Great idea to use the pumpkin seeds to add some texture to the dish. Ice-cream on the side. Probably the better dessert out of the two.
IK was in desperate need for a coffee. not bad for restaurant quality coffee.
Rating – 14.5/20
What we thought – You’d wonder whether the more restaurants you open, the quality will start to go downhill. I think Andrew McConnell is quite clever to seem to make every restaurant slightly different. They all seem like a different restaurant but when you look closely they have subtle similarities with the menu/decor. The Food was overall quite good. Did prefer a bit more sauce with some of their dishes. Especially if its a European/French restaurant. Also thought the chef’s menu was a bit too much especially after the Charcuterie.
It was close to home, so once i heard Manu was opening a new restaurant from broadsheet, i was straight onto it. Looked up the website, and this girl talking in a francois accent. I thought hmmmm am I on the right page or what. I don’t think I have watched an episode of MKR this year. But who doesn’t know who Manu is – French celebrity chef on TV blah blah. His new restaurant in South Yarra is situated where George’s Calombaris’s old restaurant “Mama Baba” once was. Next to another celebrity chef Adriano Zumbo’s dessert patisserie “Zumbo”. There use to be an entrance on the Chapel St side where you would go down the stairs. They have obviously scrapped that and the entrance was now through the little alleyway where you can go through Clarendon St. They have totally ripped out this whole place and have changed most of the interior.
As the name suggests, maybe they’re trying to make you feel like you’re entering a circus?! Well it felt like it. Or maybe felt like entering a night club. I don’t know whether they open for lunch, it would feel a bit weird if they did open then. Once you get to the “booth”, it can see a cloak room so you can hang up your jackets etc. A smartly dressed waiter will greet you wearing a bow tie and suspenders.
We had to wait a little while as we came a tad earlier than our booking time of 8:45pm. There was a lounge area where we sat whilst waiting for the tables. Whilst we were waiting, we had some chilli popcorn (super hot). There was a popcorn machine with wheels just in the distance. Now I wonder if theres a trapeze or a guy flying upside down whilst we’re having dinner. Maybe Manu flying through rings with fire!
We were finally led to our table. There was yellow light box in the middle of the restaurant with padded leather seating throughout. The kitchen was still where it was when Mama Baba was. There was Manu, big french man. A lady was taking a photo with him and was putting her hand on his big french breasts. nice…
Here comes the drinks. Ordered a chicks drink for a change some grapejuice mocktail, whilst “IK” had a alcoholic sparking drink.
There wasn’t too much fancy stuff on the menu of one page. Some cold dishes, mains, and sides. We opted for some escargots, cassoulet (as everyone was having this) and some school prawns.
School Prawns with aioli. Standard stuff. Chin Chin’s and the old Giuseppe and Arnaldo’s did good school prawns as well.
French are attentive people. “IK” had a cup with a handle. Cute.
This is one massive bone marrow. Straight away, I went and googled up is bone marrow fat?! Luckily it came up with things like filled with great nutrients and very healthy for you! I thought if it was all fat it would have been over kill. Somehow, we rather the classical escargot in a little escargot pan with olive oil. It was tasty and the marrow was juicy and rich.
This casoulet has stewed white beans, toulouese sausages, speck bacon and confit chicken wings. “IK” didn’t like the mashy white beans, made her choke and the combination was a bit plain. Nothing to rave about. Did well with matching the colours of the cast iron pot with the circus theme.
The pomme frittes was disappointing, wasn’t crunchy was on the cold side, probably been sitting on the counter for a while. Finished it nevertheless
The shredded celeraic was very rich. Lots of mayo and some crab meat. Don’t think our combination we ordered was that great to be honest. Too much for our liking.
The circus theme made me think theres going to be some spectacle but was sadly disappointed with the quality of the dishes. The escargot and bone marrow was the dish for me, but the rest we ordered were average. Prices were reasonable, neither too expensive or too cheap. The prelude was good, but the ending was sad. I rather Philipe Mouchel’s PM 24 (now closed). The jus and more frenchy dishes were just more appealing to me. Manu may have wanted to introduce more relaxed and a more Australian feel.
Rating – 13/20
Where would you go for French?
* This review is totally my and sole opinion. Feel free to disagree or agree with me.