IT’S easy to forget you’re in suburban Sydney dining at this new Chippendale restaurant with Bistrot Gavroche reminiscent of the charming cafe you frequented on that last memorable visit to Paris.
Antiques gathered from around France decorate the first-floor eatery, a building that was originally a rum factory on Kensington Street, to bring a bygone charm to this comfortable space.
The assorted furniture comes from a Lyon treasure market – there’s a table that once provided work space in a silk factory and a counter that previously presented a place for customers to drink coffee in a village cafe – and were shipped to Sydney in a cargo container before Bistrot Gavroche’s opening in early 2016.The menu is packed with French favourites like Grandpa Henri’s traditional onion soup, escargot from Burgundy, bone marrow on sourdough bread, Angus beef tartare, pork terrine, and a charcuterie platter as well as a delightful salad made from heirloom beets, pork belly served fresh from the oven in a heavy pot, and perfectly-prepared steak.
Start a meal with a sweet aperitif that’s a blend of Dijon crème de cassis and a fruity Burgundy white before lingering over a robust red bursting with boundless French terroir and finish on rum from a far-away land carefully chosen by staff to match the flavours in your dessert selection. The highlight of Bistrot Gavroche’s sweets menu is the tarte au citron meringuee – the lemon meringue tart it’s one of those dishes that must be instagrammed – while the tarte tatin is enough for those full from earlier courses but desperate to end the meal with something sugary.
And, just to conclude on a thoughtful note, warm madeleines are presented still in their baking trays to accompany coffee or a dessert wine.