There’s a French reality TV show filming in Sydney at the moment called “Les Anges de la Télé-réalité” (Angels of Reality) which rounds up previous winners of reality TV shows and places them in another country Big Brother style, with various challenges set to their career aspirations. One of the contestants in the current season is previous Top Chef winner Latifa Ichou, whose challenge was to serve up a 3-course French dinner at La Brasserie to a restaurant full of guests. On the night that we visit, the Latifa’s menu was open to the public for $80 pp and since we had visited La Brasserie in the past, we knew they served up classic French cuisine and couldn’t wait to see what Latifa could spin up with the local chefs.
Seared Scallops, Mango Carpaccio
We kickstarted the meal with a seared scallops entree. The scallops had been seared to perfection and were soft and succulent in an Asian-type soy sauce. The mango carpaccio added a nice fruity touch but I’m a unsure about the combination with the saltiness of the scallops – both elements would work better separately.
Crisp Skin, Mulloway Filet, Wilted Spinach, Olive Crushed Potatoes & Basil Oil
Next up were two main dishes. I opted for the fish which was cooked well with crispy skin on top of a soft fish fillet. Underneath that was a soft potato salad which has mostly absorbed the basil oil, and provided a nice hit of flavour to the fish.
Roast Duck Breast, Butternut Pumpkin Puree, Sweated Celery, Sauce Cherry
Yvn opted for the duck which was soft, juicy and still pink in the centre. Duck is one of those classic French dishes which always seems to be done so well! Accompanying this was a sweet and smooth pumpkin puree which went well with the crunchy turnips (not sure why the menu said “sweated celery”, whatever that is…).
Strawberry Salad, Orange Blossom Scented Yoghurt Cloud, Cinnamon French Toast
Rounding off the meal was an interesting strawberry based dessert. The strawberries were very sweet and appeared to have been candied. Offsetting the sweetness was the “cloud” which had a subtle flowery taste, akin to rose petal. It was light, airy and tastier than any whipped cream I had eaten before! The cinnamon french toast didn’t do anything for the dish though as they were rather tasteless and seemed to be there just for textural/presentation purposes.
Camera crew in the back corner
Throughout the night, it was interesting to see how a reality TV show was filmed. I was always under the impression that the cameras were quite hidden to make the environment as natural as possible, but to my surprise they were right in the contestants faces (along with lighting). I only saw the contestants eating and didn’t see any judging of the cooking challenge, but I would say the food was overall pleasant but could use with some refinement in certain areas. Nevertheless, it was an awesome experience to try French cuisine cooked differently and when looking at La Brasserie’s specials menu, it looks like they have some similar dishes to what Latifa served up tonight.
Excuse Me Waiter attended this event as guests of La Brasserie
118 Crown St, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010
Ph: (02) 9358 1222