Some time last year our group of foodies gathered for a meal once more before the year came to an end. It was always hard to decide where to go and we’ve had our fair shares of hits and misses. Cliché the French restaurant was the pick this time. It was a big hit.
The restaurant is anything but cliché. Doubling as a gallery to feast your eyes upon, beautiful French inspired artworks fill the wall. Upon entrance the bar greets you, a perfect place to perch yourself and sip away. You can dine at the bar too if you wish. We had a booth by the window that night, cozy and tucked into our own little world. Lighting is warm and dim with great ambience. We perused the menu and as usual, set to order as much variety as we can stomach. Might I remark the menu is rather fun and cute with illustrations in case you’re not sure what you’re ordering (like a cow for beef and so on).
Classic Beef Tartare $12.50
Our first entrée was the Classic Beef Tartare with quail egg and toasted French stick. Lovely, fresh and rare with good texture and flavours. It came with a roasted tomato and little gherkins to cut through the rich meaty tartare.
Coquilles Colour-Field $16
The next entrée was pan seared scallops with pea puree, cucumber and crispy enoki mushrooms with salmon roe. Perfectly cooked, the sweet taste of scallops, a delicious bite I wish lingered for longer.
Winklers Wonderful Potted Duck Pate $12
There was no way we wouldn’t order pate in a French restaurant so of course got ourselves Winklers Wonderful Potted Duck Pate. Served with crispy baguette toast, gherkins and some relish, the pate itself was delicious. Smooth and creamy with all the liver taste you want in a pate. As usual there wasn’t enough bread to smear this goodness on but the wait staff was kind enough to bring us some more. We wouldn’t want to waste all that pate after all.
Champignon Délicieux $22
We moved on to our mains with the first dish being Champignon. That’s right, mushrooms. It’s almost never that I order a vegetarian dish but since we’re sharing, it’s a good balance and of late, I am discovering plenty of mushroom goodness I’ve been missing out on. The crusted portobello mushroom was crispy to bite into and very juicy inside. Along with that were an assortment of mushrooms with béchamel and capsicum vinaigrette. What appeared simple had indeed great flavour. Mushrooms really do have great texture and juiciness when cooked right, I can see why it’s a brilliant meat substitute. Perhaps it’s also that mushrooms naturally have umami flavour taking away the need for meat.
Fat Potatoes $7.50
It wouldn’t be typical of us if we didn’t undo all that healthy vege eating so a side of Duck Fat Kipfler Potatoes was just mandatory.
Bébé, Bébé, Bébé $26
I’m pretty sure that means bébé means baby but I don’t know French. And if I am right, perhaps it was an expression of how good it is. Chicken breast is often my bane but this pan fried chicken breast retained all its juiciness to my surprise. Served on a creamy delicious avocado mousse with asparagus and truffle salsa, this dish was to die for. The chicken meat itself was very well seasoned and so flavoursome I’m convinced they injected it with concentrated stock or something. If you want a dish that will change your mind about dry chicken breast, this is the one.
Gianduja Mousse $14
Planning ahead, we left room for dessert when we spotted the blackboard special of Gianduja Mousse, hazelnut dacquoise, salted caramel popcorn and coffee creme anglaise. What’s there not to love about this dessert. Perfectly executed, great combination of textures and an all round sweet tooth pleaser.
Last but not least is a classic dessert of soufflé. Completely light, airy and fluffy all the way it rose splendidly and never fell. You could liken it to sinking into a bed of soft cushions or walking on clouds or even eating milk froth. Lovely flavour, good balance of sweet and tart, highly recommended.
Lemon Curd Soufflé $14
French cuisine has never been very high on our preference list but I have to say Cliché proved me wrong and I would visit it time and again. It was impressive from start to finish, service was great, the atmosphere is comfortable and the food was fantastic. Pay a visit if you haven’t already!