Sydney’s pubs have been upping their game of late and the French gastropub Le Pub is a fine example of what’s on offer these days. The dual entrances to Le Pub are marked by chic tiled signs in white, red and black and once you descend down the stairs into the pub, you’ll see that it’s split into 2 main areas – a bar section with stools and high tables and a proper dine in restaurant section. It’s rather dark in Le Pub since it is underground after all, but they’ve done a great job creating some ambience in the restaurant area with a patterned light feature on the ceiling and funky Scrabble like black/ivory tiles on the walls spelling out Frenchy words like “croissant”.
While we were waiting for a friend (who also happens to be a food blogger!), we decided to order some Onion Rings to nibble on. They came out quickly and were very tasty, with just the right amount of crispy batter encasing each onion ring and an addictive aioli accompanying it. Sure it’s a bit of smelly breath overkill but I’m a sucker for garlicky/onion flavours so I couldn’t resist!
Onion rings, $9
For our mains, we settled on four different types to share and we weren’t disappointed by the overall calibre of the dishes and their presentation. First up was the Pie au Boeuf Bourguignon (aka the humble beef pie) which featured chunks of slow braised beef with mushrooms and red wine sauce in a bowl all covered with a tasty layer of crispy puff pastry. I much prefer my pies to be in a bowl as it makes it much easier to eat (without the soggy bases) and the pie was a hit in my books – especially with the incredibly smooth and creamy Paris mash that accompanied it.
Pie au Boeuf Bourguignon, $24
I loved the modern, artful presentation of the Collet D’Agneau (aka lamb neck) which was encrusted in a crunchy quinoa and herb crumb. The lamb was quite tender and soft, but not quite melt in your mouth. I’m not usually a fan of cauliflower, but the use of cauliflower in the accompanying puree and pea salad wasn’t too overwhelming and served to complement the stronger flavour of the lamb.
Collet D’Agneau, $26
The Confit de Canard (confit duck leg) is a classic French dish, given a bit of a contemporary twist with a smear of carrot puree on the side, roast beetroot and puy lentils. There wasn’t that much meat on the duck leg which fell off the bone quite easily, but at least there was still enough for each of us to have a bite. The glistening layer of skin on top was as juicy as it looked; I was glad that we were sharing, because it would have been a bit too much to finish off all that oily skin on my own!
Confit de Canard, $26
For our last savoury dish, we ordered the Souffle (Twice Cooked) with Gruyere, Chevre and Walnut Crostini. It was served in a charming little shallow dish, with the crostini balanced on top and the innards were rather eggy once we dug into it. I’m not a huge cheese fan either, so this wasn’t the highlight of the meal for me…but there was another souffle (of the sweet variety) coming up that I did enjoy.
Souffle (Twice Cooked), $16
The Iced Strawberry Souffle is nothing like its ovenbaked counterpart we had tasted just before. Instead it just takes on the look of a souffle, with a delightful mound of strawberry “icecream” rising above the top of the ramekin. The texture is almost like a sorbet, with some pulpy strawberry bits flecked throughout it. I quite enjoyed the sweet, fresh flavour of it and really liked the contrast with the chocolate flakes and crunchy crumbly bits that were scattered artistically on the side of the dish.
Souffle glace aux fraises, $16
The prettiest dish of the night was the artfully presented warm pink lady Apple and Blueberry Brioche Crumble which had been deconstructed into its separate components. It was served with creme patissiere and vanilla bean ice cream, both of which lent a delectable creaminess to the warmth of the crumble and the soft cooked fruits.
Pommes et myrtilles gratines, $18
Finally, our last dish of the night was the decadent Pot de Creme which was a chocolate mousse with almond praline. The mousse was smooth, and not too thick but I felt that the other 2 desserts were more impressive in taste and texture.
Pot de Creme, $16
A meal at Le Pub will cost you a lot more than your standard pub fare, but then again, Le Pub is no ordinary pub – their gourmet offerings certainly punch above their weight and left me pleasantly surprised by their calibre.
66 King St, Sydney NSW 2000
Ph:(02) 9262 3277