Early March saw us make a spontaneous trip to Melbourne. I hate to admit it, but it was about 30 years between visits to Melbourne for me. Even then it was more to the outer suburbs where we visited family.
We stayed at The Hilton South Wharf, not right in the city but the walk along the Yarra River is very nice. We had a great view of the city and river from our room, which was quite magical in the evening as we were graced with a full moon.
Melbourne sky line and Yarra River
Full moon over Melbourne
After checking in it was time to go exploring along the South Bank. We headed over to Crown Casino and walked past Nobu, No. 8 by John Lawson, Spice Temple, Rockpool Bar and Grill and many more . As Mr. CA4G never went to Guillaume at Bennelong before it closed, we decided to head in to Guillaume Brahimi’s Melbourne restaurant.
A very bright lime green door marks the entrance to a room that is the epitome of a classic French bistro. Marble, brass, bentwood chairs and lightshades that reminded us of the puffy skirts from the 1980’s.
As it was a lovely day, we sat out on the verandah which has views of the river and city. While we decided on what to eat we ordered a glass of Perrier Jouet Champagne. Bistro Guillaume has several options for lunch from a la carte to two set price options. We chose the 3 courses for $65, which covered most of the items on the a la carte menu, with the exemption being the chateau briand.
Bistro Guillaume menu
To start we ordered some Perrier Jouet Champagne. The bread bought to the table was a nice mini Pain d’Epi, which is a variant of a baguette, shaped like a head of wheat. Lovely chewy crust and soft inside. Makes me want to bake more regularly.
Perrier Jouet and Pain d’Epi
We also ordered a bottle of Domaines Manoncourt Chateau La Fleur Pourret 2005, from Saint Emilion. A very nice drop, we have now come to the conclusion that the only merlot we enjoy drinking comes from France.
Lovely drop of Merlot!
For entrée Mr. CA4G had the steak tartare with pommes gaufrettes and a petite salad. Elegantly presented and Mr.CA4G said it was one of the best he has had.
Steak Tartare with pommes gaufrettes
I had the chicken liver pate with pear relish and cornichons. Pate seems to be the only time I get near liver, but for me it is the best way to have it.
Pate, pear relish and crusty bread
On our visit the fish of the day was John Dory. Regular readers of my blog will know that John Dory is the favourite fish of Mr. CA4G. This was simply pan fried and finished with a beurre noisette, capers and lemon, simple but full of flavour.
John Dory, beurre noisette, capers and lemon
Once again I saw pork belly on the menu and couldn’t pass it up. The Berkshire pork belly served with pickled cabbage and apple salad, was beautifully cooked and just melted when you ate it. A small mound of pommes puree was topped with the pickled cabbage, then the pork belly which was topped with the apple salad.
Pork belly, pickled cabbage and apple salad
Of course pommes frites were also ordered and came out in a lovely copper bucket.
As we chose the three course option I ordered the profiteroles filled with fresh vanilla ice cream and smothered in chocolate sauce. Yum, but 3 profiteroles was too much. Mr. CA4G ordered the cheese selection which was bought out on a BIG wooden board and then served on to a smaller service board which had the bread and garnishes on it.
Profiteroles with chocolate sauce
We were well and truly full but really happy to have chosen Bistro Guillaume for our lunch. We were so full in fact that all thought of going to Nobu for dinner got pushed out the window and we had some snacks in the executive lounge while watching the sun set over Melbourne.
Stay tuned for Part 2, lunch at The Flower Drum….
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