A few months ago, as I was researching an article for the beautiful website Eat Love, I had the opportunity to meet with Ludovic Geyer, a French Chef who runs with partner Xavier Huitorel the popular Bistro Papillon, located in Sydney CBD.
Ludovic generously gave me his time to answer my questions about his experience of food as a French man who has been living in Australia for 8 years now.
Here are his answers… (translated into English by myself)
Chef Darren Templeman and wife Bernadette, Restaurant Manager
A few weeks back I got to attend a superb degustation dinner at Restaurant Atelier, a little cottage located in Glebe Point Road. I had heard a lot about it from my colleagues and when the opportunity of a #twEATup with the regular offenders (& new ones) came up, I jumped on it! It also happens that my boss used to run a crêpe restaurant in the very same building back in the early 80′s, so I was keen to see where it all started!
A few weeks ago, my friend Vanity Fare and I decided to try the recent addition to the Merivale empire in Ash Street laneway, Felix Bistro, run by Lauren Murdoch, who used to operate the kitchen of Ash Street Cellar just across the road. I kept hearing good reports about it, and the few times I had walked past it, I’d thought the place looked beautiful and quite like an authentic brasserie.
Last week I was invited to a French-themed dinner hosted by Cenk, creator of Social Dinner Club, at Garden Court Restaurant, on the 5th floor of Sofitel in the CBD. Sofitel is a 5-star hotel owned by Accor, the famous French multinational corporation.
The Garden Court’s website describes the restaurant serving “modern contemporary cuisine with a French influence”. I was quite impressed when I made my way inside the grand entrance hall, the decor was simple but classy, you could see guests and patrons enjoying a relaxing drink in the lounge on the ground floor and staff members were most polite and friendly when I asked my way to the restaurant.
When an ex-colleague who now lives on the North Coast came back to town a few days ago for a rejuvenating plunge in the Big Smoke, he decided to invite me and another colleague for a catch-up lunch at an ol’ favourite haunt of his: Tastevin in Darlinghurst.
We meet on a Thursday around 12:45pm and are greeted warmly by Alex Bourdon, the Owner and Chef of Tastevin. His beautiful wife and Tastevin’s co-owner Natasha is not here today as the couple have just become new parents and she is taking care of their little girl. The place is pretty quiet when we arrive (which is fine by me, as I am not a loud talker!). Tastevin is actually better known as a popular late night spot as they serve food until the wee hours of the morning (around 2am), which is a pity considering that the lunch prices are a steal, with entrees at $15 and mains at $20!
Alex runs us through the menu and I hesitate briefly between the special (Seared scallops in a cauliflower soup) and the Gnocchi à la parisienne. Last time I ate at Tastevin for a Valentine dinner, my boyfriend chose the Gnocchi and I was very jealous as they were to die for! In the end I just can’t resist and get the Gnocchi. My enthusiasm must be contagious, for the boys end up doing the same!
It’s raining (again) when my partner M. and I are running to Baroque Bistro for dinner during the Easter long weekend.
The Bistro was opened last year by Sally Charkos and her sons Christophe, Olivier and Jeremy as an homage to the late Pierre Charkos, the famous Patissier behind the closely located La Renaissance Patisserie, who had a big influence on the patisserie industry in Sydney.
The restaurant is set up in a warehouse, with a lot of space, high ceilings and windows offering a beautiful view on the Harbour Bridge.
The décor is a mixture of modern (designer translucent plastic chairs, chrome lights-fittings) and traditional (copper pans hanging from the ceiling, old clocks), which would be a good way to describe their cuisine: classical French fare, but reworked with a modern twist.
This first post will be about La Brasserie, an institution of Darlinghurst, gathering locals and Frenchies alike around classic French dishes, as well as charcuterie, imported and local cheeses and wines.
La Brasserie has been an official sponsor of the French Film Festival for 3 years in a row, at the occasion of which, George Miller, director of Happy Feet, was awarded the prestigious French Award of the Order of the Arts and Letters at the restaurant a few weeks ago.
It is at the occasion of our monthly Girls catch-up dinner with my friends Elodie and Julie that we set our eyes on La Brasserie, as it is conveniently located close to the CBD, reasonably priced and their menu really appeals to our French expatriate palate!