Dining Date: March 2009
2009 Rating: 49th
2009 Star rating: 2
Chef: Thierry Galichet
Location: 224 Given Tce, Paddington, Queensland
Before I write this post I feel like I need to declare my interests. I LOVE french food, it is by far my favourite of all cuisines. I would eat it at the drop of a hat, and nothing is more satisfying then a good piece of pastry. When the chance to try Montrachet came up I was very excited. I always look forward to eating at places like this, and it is reflected by my inability to order a sensible number of dishes, but I enjoy every last bite, despite the fact that I end up being fuller than a pokies machine on pension day.
Montrachet is every bit a french bistro. The walls are adorned with french paraphernalia, and the wall behind the bar is well stocked, something I like to see. The tables are placed VERY closely together. When we arrived I was a little worried. I had very tall heels on, I took one look at the tables and had a mini anxiety attack. I couldn't even squeeze my hand between the tables, let alone my cream loving thighs. Thankfully, the wait staff pull the table right out and let you leisurely take your seat. When nature calls, the wait staff transform into super hero's with mind reading powers and know exactly when you need to get up. Superb I say.
Now onto the reason why I visited Montrachet, for the food. We ordered from the al la carte menu, we tried to ignore the tempting degustation menu on offer. First entree off the rank was the Coquilles St Jacques Richelieux - Seared sea scallops resting on brioche topped with goose foie gras and truffle caviar, finished with a light truffle cream sauce. Trufflax made from potato starch and black truffle. This dish was delicious. Since Daz ordered it, I only managed to sneak a bite, but it was the most glorious bite imaginable. The silky foie gras and crunchy brioche was heaven. Oh how I love foie gras, if only it was more ethical. As soon as I took one bite of my entree, the foie gras was a distant memory.
I had ordered the Escargots en Cocotte -Snails baked in little pots with garlic butter, tomato, spinach and topped with puffed pastry lids. When I was a kid we used to eat lots of snails, and every time I eat them now in my adulthood, I'm transported back to that childhood time. But when I was a kid, the snails were either put in a simple tomato sauce or pan fried with some butter. No where near the indulgence of the ones on offer here. The pastry was flaky, the snails plump and juicy drowned in a garlic butter. There were three pots, I was kind and stupid enough to give one to Daz.
Escargots en Cocotte -Snails baked in little pots with garlic butter, tomato, spinach and topped with puffed pastry lids.
Mains were next, and as you may have noticed from previous posts, Daz can't help himself when steak is on offer and usually goes for this option. There were no surprises when he ordered the Steak, Frites, Salade -Eye fillet, served with green salad, homemade French fries and green peppercorn sauce. Ordering steak often means that you become exposed some good pieces of meat and some not so good. I was truly shocked when he took one bite and instantly became silent. After a little more silence and a lot more cutting and chewing, he declared, "that is the best steak I have ever eaten". I was surprised, I really did not expect that.
Steak, Frites, Salade -Eye fillet, served with green salad, homemade French fries and green peppercorn sauce.
I felt like I needed something light, to counteract all that butter from the garlic snails. So I ordered the Bouillabaisse - Reef fish, Queensland scallops, fresh green prawns and Moreton Bay bugs served in a rich seafood broth with aioli and garlic French toast. It was DELICIOUS! The seafood was juicy and extremely fresh, the soup was flavoursome and the most perfect temperature. I know that's weird to say, but I tend to dive straight into my food, usually with reckless abandonment. Sometimes there are casualties....millions of them.....thankfully, taste buds grow back.
Bouillabaisse - Reef fish, Queensland scallops, fresh green prawns and Moreton Bay bugs served in a rich seafood broth.
For a side we ordered the Fricassée de Champignons - pan fried porcini, button and Swiss brown mushrooms. I was a little disappointed with this dish, it did not have a very strong mushroom flavour and I think this ruined it for me. I was expecting a mushroom explosion in my mouth, sadly it was not.
From top left hand corner - Steak and fries, Green Salad, aioli and garlic French toast, pan fried mushrooms.
And then all that was left were the desserts. We ordered two classic french desserts, Crème Brûlée and Éclair au Café, filled with coffee crème pâtissière served with crème Anglaise and orange cointreau salade. There's nothing more to say than, fantastic, perfect way to finish the meal.
I really enjoyed Montrachet. All the dishes were stand outs and I was extremely satisfied when I left. The best part about Montrachet is the price tag. Everything is extremely reasonably priced. I could have eaten at Montrachet twice more with the amount of money I spent at Urbane. I wish I lived in Brisbane, Montrachet would be a regular haunt for me. Now I have to find a substitute here in Melbourne.