There are a countless number of French Bistros in Melbourne, and I've been to a few - and as much as it pains me to say it - it seems a Sydney Chef has lifted the bar, and then some. Near perfection is the only phrase that comes to mind when I think about the meal we had at Bistro Guillaume.
Walking through the heavy double doors - we were led to a big table at the center of the room, where the larger most boisterous parties were seated, away from the lovebirds near the window with a street level view onto the Yarra. We were treated with an appetiser of a cheese puff and our order was taken from a suspiciously French-like non-Frenchman (we later discovered he was Swiss).
Smooth silky oysters arrived freshly shucked, served simply and still immersed in their own brine - a perfect example. Four entrees were sampled; a generous and diverse chacutaire plate, a delicious crab ravioli served in a rich cream sauce, a "sashimi" served with a strange but delicious salad of fennel & roe, and the famed steak tartare (along with Pearl - is the best I've tasted). Strangely everybody was torn between having food envy and the joy of having ordered the right thing.
The mains were more simply done - but were also delicious, with the Chef definitely staying true to the French love for sauces. The pork loin was perfectly cooked, pink and moist - accompanied by crunchy on the inside but smooth on the inside potato croquettes. The steak frites was done textbook, and doused in a flavourful redwine reduction. The John Dory was excellent, however the lightness of the dish seemed inconsistent with the rest of the mains. And finally the chicken to share, presented to the table in the pan it was cooked in - then taken away to be carved up and served with a rich mushroom sauce and the creamiest mash. Perhaps the best chicken dish in Melbourne - each mouthful brought a smile of joy to our faces.
Everybody was stuffed full of wine & food, but there was no way we could pass up dessert! All were satisfying - however the highlight was the chocolate souffle, crunchy on the outside to reveal a soft chocolate centre on the inside. Pure indulgence.
Amazingly, although we ordered so many things - it was impossible to find a dud, the consistency of this place was incomparable. Although BG may give the people at the heart foundation a heart attack, it's definately got my tick of approval!
Where: Shop 7, Crown Casino Complex - 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank 3006
What: Entrees: $25, Mains: $40, Desserts: $20