Category Archives: 1 Hat

My Favourite French Restaurant… Bistro Guillaume

My favourite French restaurant in Melbourne is Bistro Guillaume located at Crown Casino.   I loved the original Guillaume at Crown, but the new Bistro has a more casual feel which means more frequent visits.  The restaurant is lovely and simple, with good service and excellent food.

I’ve had three entrees at Guillaume, the “Onion soup“, “Charcuterie plate” and “In house smoked salmon with dill cream and toasted brioche“.  All three are superb,  however, if I had to pick one, I would choose the charcuterie plate – it had a great variety of cured meats, terrine, and pate with foie gras.  Superb!

For mains, there is a solid variety of meats and seafood.  The “Berkshire Pork belly served with lentils and tarragon vinaigrette” has a lovely crispy skin on with a juicy cut of belly.  The sauce and lentils were a good companion to the belly, without overpowering the taste of the meat.

The “Barramundi with carrot and ginger purée, coriander butter and pommes allumettes” has a delicate balance ginger and fish, and the texture of the fish and potatoes is beautiful.  Very similar dish to the John Dory dish in the Guillaume at Bennelong degustation (which I raved about as the best dish of the degustation).   In the photo below, the most impressive part of the meal is depicted – the “Paris mash“.  I don’t want to think about how much butter is in it, but damn it is a good mash.

My favourite main is “Half a roasted chicken with Paris mash and chicken jus”.  In my opinion, it’s the best roast chook out there (better than PM24).  Crispy skin, succulent meat and a lovely sauce – yum!

Overall, a superb French dining experience.

For more info and reviews:

Bistro Guillaume on Urbanspoon

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Sweets for my sweet!

Thought I’d post up the collection of sweets & desserts I’ve accumulated over the course of the year…  I’m not big on sweets and desserts, but when it looks so good, and taste yummy, I’m all in!

So we’re starting with treats in the morning.  What could be more delightful then a good cup of coffee, with a truffle or macaroons to go along with it?

The coffee on the left is from Caffe Esc in Docklands, great coffee, great guys and on the right we have Cafe Vue (the old cup, not the new black and white fancy ones) along with the best macaroons in the city.

Morning tea delights of French toast with banana, cream and toffee sauce (Seven Seeds) or mini cupcakes in various flavours (Little Cupcakes).

I love the variety on dessert platters!  Maha‘s platter consisted of fluffy donuts, chocolate ice cream, panna cotta with honeycomb and a middle eastern inspired creme brule.

This little fluff ball comes from Spice Temple.  I don’t remember the exact description but I’d describe it as a kumquat filled cupcake topped with citrus turkish fairy floss!

The humble pavlova is one of my favourite desserts, and this lovely, simple and light dessert is taken to a whole new level at the Palace Hotel.   It’s absolutely gorgeous to look at, and delicious.  The Eton’s Mess is also another winner at the Palace, however, it’s not on the menu for this summer.

For more info and reviews of Caffe Esc:
Caffe Esc on Urbanspoon

For more info and reviews of Cafe Vue:
Café Vue on Urbanspoon

For more info and reviews of Seven Seeds:
Seven Seeds on Urbanspoon

For more info and reviews of Little Cupcakes:
Little Cupcakes on Urbanspoon

For more info and reviews of Maha:
Maha Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon

For more info and reviews of Spice Temple:
Spice Temple on Urbanspoon

For more info and reviews of Palace Hotel:
The Palace on Urbanspoon

Winter weekend in Bright

My overall impression of Bright is lovely.  It was a great drive there, we left early afternoon and arrived in the evening.  Given the time of year, it was dark by the time we arrived and it was a bit daunting getting to the house on dark country roads.

The house we stayed at was aptly named “Evening Star” as the deck faced the mountainside and stars (which were aplenty).  The house was as gorgeous (as was described), with lots of space to relax, a bathtub with views of the mountains and a fully decked out kitchen (which we enjoyed cooking breakfast and dinner a few times).

One of the primary reason’s for visiting Bright was to dine at Simone’s (which at the time had 2 hats in the GFG, alas it now only has one).  It was charming and rustic, and the food was delicious.  Outstanding items include homemade gnocchi with mushrooms and truffle,  calamari lightly battered with rocket and the roast pork done 3 ways.

We stayed in Bright for a few days.  To amuse ourselves, we drove along the Great Alpine Road which is a great drive with very pretty scenery.  Another highlight of the trip was the Wandiligong Pub, with great locals and character (look out for a tree out the back with about 30 pairs of bra’s hanging from it!).  If you have a few hours, check out the Wandiligong maze – it was a quite a challenge and probably the best maze I’ve ever seen.

On the way back to Melbourne we stopped by a few spots.  One of which was Milawa, where there was a local Sunday market.  There was nothing terribly exciting at the market but the shops were interesting with cheese and mustard aplenty!  Another pit stop on the way home was Glenrowan where the giant Ned Kelly resides.   It was like a cowboy town with a row of shops (every single one with reference to Ned) running through it and a giant statue.

Overall, the trip was great and I can’t wait to return to that region!  Next time I’ll be hitting up Beechworth.

Total kms: 1000kms

(16th – 18th July 2010)
 

More info on Simones:

Simones on Urbanspoon