Many many years ago when I first visited Bistro Guillaume I had never experienced fine dining before - fast forward 8 years on here I am writing a food blog. I have long considered this place to have opened my mind to French food and fine dining so lets see if still lives up to its nostalgic expectations as one of my firsts!
First off the space is beautiful. It overlooks the Crown Riverwalk and the Yarra River with an indoor area and an outdoor terrace for the summer nights. I love the modern bistro feel which doesn't exactly take you to Paris but the Parisian accents and classy feel take you halfway there. As expected from a fine dining restaurant the service was good and attentive but I guess you expect to feel a bit more special at a place like this.
For entrees we went for the French classics - Steak tartare with pommes gaufrettes and Escargots persillade. Perfection in every way with buttery textures and flavours in both. The tartare came with house made potato chips which were lightly salted and complemented the tartare well. The tartare could've done with a few more spices to up the flavour stakes. The escargot though was simple faultless with butter, garlic and parsley and extra bread on the side to soak up the sauce post escargots.
For main I went for my usual (as did the rest of the table) - Half a roasted chicken with Paris mash and chicken jus. There's a reason why this dish has been on the menu since this restaurants conception - it is simply mind blowing. The chicken is moist and the serving is very generous with extra spices thrown into the jus just to tip things over to flavour overload. The star of this dish though is the Paris Mash. This is the reason I keep coming back and the reason you need to come here. Comprised of 250g of butter and 250g of potato it is a heart attack wait to happen but SO WORTH IT. Silky smooth and buttery, it just melts in your mouth and you literally can't stop. You haven't experienced life until you have the Paris Mash here.
Finally the dessert which I don't normally come here for. The Profiteroles with vanilla bean ice cream and warm chocolate sauce was your standard cafe fair that wasn't mind blowing. Choux pastry was good as was the vanilla bean ice cream but there was too much chocolate sauce poured over. It overwhelmed the dish and most of the flavours disappeared...I also didn't see the point of dousing perfect good choux with a wet sauce which made it just really soggy.
In need of some classic French bistro fair? You can't go past Bistro Guillaume and its impeccably delivered dishes to satisfy your craving. Do me a favour though - order a side of Paris Mash for me too? :)
Presentation (5): 4
Taste (5): 5
Service (5): 4.5
Atmosphere (5): 4