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Published on August 21st, 2010 | by Gareth


Restaurant Review – La Grande Bouffe

As a huge fan of French food, this is a restaurant that I have been looking forward to reviewing for a while, so on my birthday it was an easy decision.

On entry to La Grande Bouffe we are greeted by a beaming pretty young Parisian waitress.  The atmosphere and décor instantly strikes me as authentic and welcoming. I instantly feel comfortable here and I’m wet lipped in anticipation of the culinary treasures to follow, (I turned food geek and downloaded the menu in advance to savour the experience).

Once seated our waitress patiently allows me to practice my pathetic Anglo school boy, text book French. It’s the linguistic equivalent of a 16 year old lad fumbling with a girl’s bra for the first time. Clumsy and lacking in the finesse I desire. She humours me but I know she is probably thinking that I am complete idiot. But at least I tried, and it fuels me with inspiration to take night classes in French – for muppets.

We finish ordering and are promptly brought a complementary morsel of snail in garlic butter. It tastes predominantly garlicky with a suggestion of beef. I wash it down with a classic French aperitif of Pernod.

The entrees arrive – Rainbow trout with celeriac and horseradish rémoulade, rabbit rillettes with cornichons and toast, twice baked leek and goat’s cheese soufflé. Unhealthy as they may be I love rillettes of any kind and to have traditional French made rillettes is a rare treat. It is sublime to the point that I could have had it as a main as well.

Rabbit rillette at La Grande Bouffe

Rabbit rillette

The Leek soufflé is treasure chest of texture and complimentary flavours, tangy and creamy with a slight bite from young leeks.  The trout is cooked to perfection but we forget our manners and neglect to capture a photo before it is devoured.

Our mains have a tough act to follow but live up to the taste challenge. Twice cooked beef cheeks with carrot puree and cepes (fungi family),

mushroom and pearl barley pilaf, fillet of beef with braised oxtail. Served with a bottle of 1999 Medoc (South West France), it doesn’t get much better. The beef has a slight caramelised crunch on the surface (in a good way) that gives way to a ‘melt in your mouth’ centre; in fact it is a soft as a good pate. The sauce is rich, glossy and full.
Twice cooked beef cheeks at La Grande Bouffe

Cheeky beef

The mushroom and pearl barley pilaf is the food envy dish and surprisingly steals the showdown of the mains. The fillet beef is beautifully presented but cannot rival the flavour of the mushroom pilaf.
Mushroom pilaf at La Grande Bouffe

Pilaf heaven


Fillet beef with oxtail at La Grande Bouffe

Fillet beef and braised oxtail

The website describes La Grande Bouffe’s cuisine as ‘emphasis is on traditional French flavours with a delicate modern edge’. For me it is this and much more. The staff are knowledgeable about their food and wine menu; they are passionate about France without being arrogant or snobby, in short excellent service. The softly French décor makes the setting just right. I also enjoyed being able to see into the kitchen on the way to the ‘washroom’.

For me, La Grande Bouffe is a winner!

Shops 1 & 2
758 Darling Street, Rozelle NSW 2039
T: 9818-4333 F: 9810 5025

About the Author

Englishman in Sydney loves a whisky, pies and all things savoury. Digital Marketer by day, cook the rest of the time. Amateur writer, photographer & aspiring anthropologists.

2 Responses to Restaurant Review – La Grande Bouffe

  1. Serenesea says:

    A grand description of the La Grande Bouffe and the gourmet French cuisines. It makes a grand dinner that has mouth watering delicacies more tastier.

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