Guillaume gets it right

The original Bistro Guillaume was an extravagant affair, a lusciously fitted out space with a scary wine list and prices that reflected it. The chef behind the restaurant, Guillaume Brahimi, admits he made a mistake.

Now closed and reopened in the space that once housed Philippe Mouchel, he’s got it right with his head chef Graeme McLaughlin who was a sous chef at Guillaume at Bennelong and was at Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck for four years.

What remains of the old Bistro Guillaume is the puff ball dress-style lamp shades, the $140,000 comfortable bentwood chairs, and some of what was on the menu. For instance, steak frites with a béarnaise, which in 2008 cost $35 and now $36.

What’s gone is the $250,000 wine list and the pomp and circumstance. In fact, Guillaume has discovered Victorians wines such as Mayer, Crawford River and William Downie.

The half a roasted chicken with Paris mash and chicken jus at $35 is worth looking out for as is all the other bistro fare – the charcuterie plate, steak tartare, onion soup and so on.

I’m guessing that the daily $34 specials – I fancy Beef bourguignon on Tuesday and Bouillabaisse on Friday – are also worth a try, for boozy lunch on the terrace on a sunny day.

And lets not forget the gorgeous lemon tart or the cheese platter to finish.

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4 Responses to “Guillaume gets it right”

  1. Martyna @ Wholesome Cook

    We always used to visit the old Bistro while in Melbourne. It was a perfect, light-filled space for a lazy, long lunch on the weekend, with superb food to match the atmosphere and excellent service.

    It was such a breath of fresh air to visit the new Bistro a couple of weeks ago and see Guillaume adorning his chef’s whites during our last visit and focusing on what chefs should focus on: food!

    He hasn’t gone off to do a tv show, and while he has published a wonderful cookbook (Food for Friends), all sales proceeds are donated to a good cause!

    The new space feels a little more cramped but the food remains delicious and I’m thrilled that the chrcuterie plate has stayed on the menu – I can never say no to the creamy terrine, fragrant pate and cornichons!

    What a champ, my hats off to you Guillaume!

  2. Ed

    Thanks Jeremy will update. Was rushing to get it out.

    Steve, I know a shame but he’s got a good home now.

  3. steve

    Always felt sorry for Phillipe Mouchel, shunted around Melbourne like an old Y Class tram, when did the love affair turn to familiar indifference? Probably a silly question but whats really the point of difference between his food at crown and the new affair?

  4. Jeremy Pringle

    I presume that’s Victorian wineries such as (Timo) Mayer and William Downie as opposed to “Meyer” and “Downey”.

    Hopefully Guillaume has the names right on the new wine list.