Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Restaurant Review: Bistro Papillon, Sydney CBD

After dinner on Wednesday at Porteño my gourmet week continued with a Friday supper at Bistro Papillon. I met up with friends Oliver and Mary to check out the French bistro that has been on my wish list since January.

I received an email to confirm my booking and (a bit tipsy) decided to reply in French. The next morning I realised I made a few spelling mistakes so decided I'd better stick to English in the restaurant. Although I had to resist the urge to practice my school boy French with the waiters on several occassions.

Oliver and Mary were loving Bistro Papillon. The lively atmosphere of people enjoying their evenings, foreign accents and French posters on the wall had transported them to Europe. I was still in Sydney until, odly, I visited the bathrooms. I couldn't quite place the orange scented fragrance, but it took me right back to holidays in France.

We started with some snails that came out ferociously hot. After leaving them to cool a little they had a strong initial flavour of garlic butter and a subtle snail finish. A very gaelic way to start.

I chose the coq au vin for my main course. I was a little disappointed that there were only three small(ish) pieces of chicken. However, the chicken was tender and the red wine sauce and a nice depth of flavour. I liked it, but just wished there was some more of it!

I snuck a taste of Mary's Papadelle au lapin. The homemade pasta had a silky texture and bite from being cooked al-dente. There was a zing of lemon and a richness from the rabbit. It tasted great and was no surprise that Mary was raving about it.

Oliver liked his Supreme de caille au poivre vert (quail) so much that he wasn't giving away any tastings!

We had a side of the Gratin dauphinoise (included in the price of the main). Considering the amount of butter that was in all the other dishes I actually thought the potatoes could have done with a bit more cream. There isn't a lot of point having a gratin unless you push the boat out!

We decided on a profiteroles to share for dessert. I couldn't get enough of the creme anglais sitting in the bottom of the bowl. It reminded me of my summers in Le Mont Dore with my parents where the hotel served every dessert with a wonderful creme anglais.

I really enjoyed my evening at Bistro Papillon. I didn't think it was as stellar as Mary and Oliver, but then comparisons with the unbelievable Porteño a couple of nights before were clouding my judgement. It was still the best French food I've had in Sydney.

Bisto Papillon
98 Clarence Street


Bistro Papillon on Urbanspoon

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