Amongst all the Italian restaurants in Leichhardt, the new kid on the block Monte Restaurant is doing something a bit different with a refreshing Modern Australian menu in a space that has a dash of French flair to it. The influences on the decor and menu aren’t surprising since the owner and head chef Louis Hong has spent time honing his craft at Bistro Moncur and The Cook’s Garden, before opening up his own restaurant.
We started off with half a dozen of their freshly shucked Sydney Rock Oysters, which were creamy and topped off with a light ginger and sweet sake dressing, along with some pickled cucumber for the perfect summer starter.
Sydney Rock Oysters, $20 (half dozen)
Our other starter was their signature Twice Baked French Onion Souffle Gratin which showcases the chef’s French training, in an indulgent dish that is creamy and rich and brought us back to the streets of Paris with each bite.
Twice Baked French Onion Souffle Gratin, $16
Moving onto the mains, the boy went for the Ale Battered Red Spot Whiting which was a classier version of fish and chips featuring a type of fish that isn’t commonly used for this dish but worked well encased in the thin batter was fried to crispy perfection.
Ale Battered Red Spot Whiting, $25
I tried the Garlic Roasted Prawn Linguine which was a classic done right, with plenty of succulent prawns and the fresh addition of sweet corn kernels tossed in with the chilli, basil, parmesan and basil infused olive oil.
Garlic Roasted Prawn Linguine, $22
Monte Restaurant is a great addition to the Leichhardt dining scene and its unconventional Modern Australian menu with hints of French thrown in is priced reasonably for the quality and changes seasonally too.
Excuse Me Waiter dined as guests of Monte Restaurant