The French Saloon
It is a long and complicated story that will probably never be told but I was this close to moving to Paris last year.
That dream has now been postponed and instead I find myself on a Friday night, eating in a gorgeous little French restaurant in the worlds most liveable city, Melbourne.
The French Saloon is the latest restaurant to open under the direction of Ian Curley: Chef extraordinaire and food empire building Godfather of the Melbourne dining scene.
Chef Todd Moses has come across from Supernormal to cook perfect, simple, French bistro style meals under the direction of executive Chef Ian Curley. When I say simple, I mean French simple, meaning excellent, well-chosen ingredients and dishes made with skill and precision in a classic way. Simple, but definitely not simple, if you know what I mean.
The A La Carte menu is divided into “to begin” “to continue” “steak” “mains” “sides” “cheese” and “dessert.” With all that choice what is a girl to do but agree to receive direction from her charming and helpful French waiter. I was very keen to save myself for cheese and dessert courses so we went straight to the mains.
John Dory with cauliflower puree was perfection on a plate with great balance between beautiful flavours; creamy cauliflower puree, soft subtle fish with a gently seared crust, and a gently acidic sauce to drown it all in.
My partner ordered the Steak Frites with Roquefort butter and he was equally smitten with the flavours on his plate.
We shared a side of the specials menu which was slippery jack mushrooms with artichoke two ways. This was a very decadent, creamy and delicious dish that we both enjoyed.
Then we moved onto the cheese course which was served with a little jar of honey and its honeycomb from a local rooftop beekeeper. This honey carried a lot of flavour and was a delicious accompaniment to the three styles of cheese we chose of the menu.
For dessert we were moved to the beautiful zinc bar that stretches its way down one side of the room. I am told that this fabulous bar was imported directly from France and it was certainly a great juxtaposition to the red timber pitched room and simplicity of the rustic timber floors and white painted window frames of the rest of the room. Tres chic.
Creme brûlée with chocolate Madeleine.
The John Dory and Artichoke side dish both take equal honours as my favourite dish of the year so far.
Service was excellent and did not really miss a beat with our gorgeous and knowledgeable waiter charming us from the moment we arrived.
Visit the French Saloon for intimate, old-school dining in a gorgeous setting with food that will make you forget you are not far from home.
The French Saloon
First Floor 380-384 Little Bourke Street (Via, Hardware Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone:(03) 9600 2142