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.