Want a taste of Paris without having to get on a plane? La Brasserie takes you on a trip there through its wood paneled booths, lamp lighting and old school French music playing softly in the background, giving you an authentic snapshot of a Parisian diner.
We start with the complimentary bread of “petit pain”; light and satisfyingly crunchy with soft creamy butter. To enhance our French experience we opt for a carafe of 2009 rosé from Bordeaux, which was great value since it was about 4 glasses worth of wine. I’m not much of a wine person but I quite liked the rosé as a light alternative to the usual red or white wines which are too dry for me.
Rosé, $14 for carafe
Of course, it’s not a French meal without escargot (snails) so we order a dozen as entree. I love how it comes on a special little escargot platter with 12 little moulds for the snails to fit into and also comes with thin slices of bread to dunk into the garlic, olive oil and parsley sauce. There’s little tongs to manoeuvre the snails around with but some of the snails are quite stubborn and take a lot of effort to coax out of the shells.
Escargot, $22 for a dozen
The most impressive dish of the night was the duck which we got as a main, or as the French like to call it, the “confit de canard”. The way that the French cook their ducks results in beautifully crispy skin on the outside and juicy tender meat on the inside. It’s different to how Chinese roast their ducks, where the meat becomes dry on the inside too. The confit de canard comes with carrot puree and orange sauce, which is a bit strange for my tastebuds to experience but we savour every bite of the succulent duck.
Confit de canard $33
I know that mussels are more famous in Belgian cuisine but I was also curious to try how the French do it, so I ordered a large pot of mussels in mariniere sauce with shoestring chips and aioli. The sauce consists of white wine, leeks, shallots and rosemary which I liked, but it was a bit annoying to fish out the dried sprigs of rosemary out of the soupy sauce. The mussels were decently sized, but nothing too remarkable compared to other places I’ve tried them at and it is pretty much the same style of cooking as the Belgian way. There were plenty of fries to ensure that you’re filled up and the accompanying aioli had a strong garlic aroma.
Mussels mariniere with aioli and shoestring chips, $33
We finished off with crème brûlée for dessert and surprisingly, it came out in a square shape without a ramekin holding it, which is different from the usual presentation we see. It had a perfectly caramelised top and very eggy tasting innards, a bit stronger tasting than other crème brûlées I’ve had before. The dish also came with a mystery pastry on the side which tasted like a sticky apple cinnamon cake. Unfortunately, it tasted indescribably odd and did not go well as a complement to the crème brûlée.
Crème brûlée $15
The ambience at this charming little French bistro is romantic and offers a real Parisian experience, right in the heart of Sydney, highly recommended for dates and special occasions.
118 Crown St
Darlinghurst, NSW 2010
Phone: 02 9358 1222