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.

Bistro Guillaume on Urbanspoon


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

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

  3. 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. 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.