GG and I were married in early August and as I discovered weddings, they don’t just happen. They are a lot of work and the happy couple definitely needs the help of many people. My parents were incredibly helpful and it’s so hard to know how to say thanks but we thought a nice dinner out together would be a good start.
Seeing as though a new frenchery had opened at the Crown Perth complex only a few weeks before it seemed like a perfect place to make a booking for such a special occasion. The fine work of Guillaume Brahimi had made its way to the west and I couldn’t wait to visit Bistro Guillaume. Mr Packer really has done as a spectacular with the Perth casino, it looks stunning and there is now an impressive choices to top end eateries available.
So we swanned our way in through the glittery entrance, under the chandelier made of plates, over the intricately tiled floors and into the parlour. It was entirely oooo la la!
The fit out really is just stunning, it’s quite a large space, but they’ve managed to separate the tables into different sections with some larger booths and carefully placed curtains. And the icing on the cake is the expansive glass windows overlooking the beautifully landscaped pool area.
We were taken to a table for four – two chairs and two on a longer booth along the wall, with a great view of the night lights outside. As we looked through our place mat menus we were bought some fabulously fresh baguette with the perfect pairing of butter and sea salt. A more than pleasant and crunchy introduction to their offerings.
The decision was made to share three of the entrees between us. They all sounded great so narrowing it down to three was the toughest part! We went with the Charcuterie plate ($26), Leeks with Jamón Ibérico, poached egg and mustard seed vinaigrette ($28)and the Blue Swimmer crab salad with avocado, cucumber and capsicum coulis ($30).
Timing wise they didn’t take too long with our starters and we were enjoying a nice drop of local white wine so it felt like no wait at all. A comment on the wine list, it is actually fairly reasonable. There are some very quality names on the list that aren’t obscenely priced, which is always a treat, but you can definitely buy top end vinos if you would like it.
The leek dish was amazing. They were so tender and the inclusion of the egg yolk was just inspired. The salty Jamon Iberico also worked a treat. It was seriously divine. I was grateful I’d been given a heads up about this delicious dish from someone who had visited before me, because enjoying leeks prepared that way – what a revelation.
GG pick of the crab salad was also very tasty and quite refreshing. Was quite a delicate dish really with carefully chosen ingredients.
And hard to go wrong with a well prepared charcuterie plate and this one definitely was. Smooth pate, the intense wonder of jamon Serrano and cornichons, they are as tasty as they are cute! Great selection.
Now for mains the two lads opted for the same selection – Venison tenderloin with beetroot, parsnip and horseradish ($40). It looked delicious with its vibrant splash of bright purple beetroot on the plate. The meat was so tender too! I was lucky enough to score a bite. Was a lovingly prepared piece of meat – deary me, very good!
My attention often turns to all things duck once it is spied on a menu and so I couldn’t go past the Leg of duck confit with peas, shallot and speck ($38). I thought the bed of peas with the chunky pieces of speck actually gave the dish quite a rustic feel. The duck itself was seriously amazing and it was a very generous serve. The melt in your mouth magic of the duck with the sweetness from the peas was a winning mouthful.
However despite the high praise for my dish the consensus around the table was that my mum had “won” with her pick of mains with the Berkshire pork belly with salad of lentils, green apples and tarragon vinaigrette ($37). It was a big piece of pork and while it didn’t have a crispy top as you often get with pork belly dishes, the ratio of fat to meat was perfect and it had been rendered to a soft, indulgent perfection. The lentils were a nice textural addition and pork and apple are long-time friends and go together for a reason.
We were all feeling fairly comfortable after these two courses, but thankfully and as is often the case there is always room for dessert. Particularly when you read through the delectable items available on their menu, way too hard to say no! We each ordered something different on this occasion. I had heard good things about the Profiteroles with vanilla bean ice cream and warm chocolate sauce ($18) so they were my pick, GG went for the Chocolate soufflé with pistachio ice cream ($22), dad kept things simple with the Selection of sorbet ($14) and mum thought the Tarte du jour ($17) sounded delicious and given it was strawberry I’ll admit that I was tempted too!
Particularly after our friendly waiter gave us the lowdown on how Chef Guillaume prepared his vanilla ice-cream. Basically with about 5 times the amount of vanilla bean that is generally used, we were warned it could be very intense. Bring it on we decided!
The desserts were just beautiful! I really enjoyed my profiteroles arrived to the table and the dramatic flourish as the waiter poured the warm chocolate sauce into my bowl to finish my dish. The choux pastry was just the right amount of chewy and they weren’t wrong about the intensity of the vanilla bean ice cream. Just sensational! One of my favourite desserts of 2012.
I tried GG’s soufflé was also lovely and had some similar fancy touches as they carefully placed a quenelle of ice-cream direct into the soufflé.
And dad’s sorbet was just bursting with flavour. We all really liked the lychee flavour….. there was some sharing going on around the table – always nice to get to try a few of the available options – helps you know what you want on your next visit :)
And then we were done. Rounding out our meal with some sweet goodness. It had been an experience. A more than pleasant, entirely wonderful experience with excellent company. The vibe of the place is this well balanced, polished casual. The food is incredibly lovely and an added bonus of the visit was getting to spy the main behind the Bistro in the kitchen – Guillaume Brahimi himself! With a smile like that, it’s no wonder he is so popular!
Merci beaucoup Chef Guillaume!