Come for a masterclass in classic French cooking.
August 10, 2023
Bistro Guillaume in Crown isn't the kind of place you visit to be surprised — unless you're not expecting top-quality classic French fare — for everything here is done by the books.
Chef Guillaume Brahimi isn't trying to reinvent the cuisine. He isn't even trying to make it contemporary. His menu shows how he is a purist — executing the French favourites without deviation.
And we can only applaud him for this. Great skill is needed to make a twice-baked cheese souffle as good as the one at Bistro Guillaume. Melts-in-your-mouth only begins to describe the cheesy and fluffy dish that wobbles its way over to the table.
You've also got the French onion soup that's thick and rich, paired with some house-made gruyere croutons. There are no surprises here either, just a damn fine French onion soup.
Mains are equally as predictable — think steak frites, duck legs in beurre blanc, roast chicken with mash and a tarragon jus and a fish of the day served with capers, lemon and parsley. You'll make your way through these familiar favourites, genuinely delighted by how expertly they've been executed.
Being here, it can feel as if you're dining in Paris.
But like Paris, this fare doesn't come cheap. It is in Crown (and most French food is on the expensive side), so we aren't terribly surprised by that. But don't be shocked to receive a fairly stacked bill at the end of the night — especially if you get caught up in the extensive wine and cocktail list.
As you should expect, French wines are championed throughout the long menu, but you'll also see some Aussie tipples thrown in there for good measure.
The cocktail list gets us pretty excited, too. Here, we see the return of some long-forgotten French cocktails that have been kicked off many a bar menu in favour of the now-popular negronis and old fashioneds. Expect traditional bevs like the sidecar and gimlet as well as more original sips like the mezcal espresso martini and lemon meringue sour.
Here, Bistro Guillaume has left a little room to stray away from its purely classic sensibilities. But that's all you're gonna get.
Everything else in the Bistro Guillaume experience is simply a masterclass in French cooking and culture. If that's your jam (and you're not on a budget), you best give it a go.
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