The food at Baroque Bistro is amazing; beautiful to look at and delicious to eat.
I know you are meant to save your final verdict for the end of the review, but I feel compelled to say it here at the beginning.
It was a beautiful sunny, winter day in Sydney and Poppy and I were excited to be meeting, at long last, our blogger friend from Melbourne, MsGourmet and her delightful little cherubs.
We waited for them at the ferry terminal at Circular Quay and then walked along Sydney Harbour, admiring one of the best views in the world*, up to the historic The Rocks district. It was the first time Poppy has seen the Sydney Opera House and I’m pretty sure she liked it as much as her Mum.
One big perk of reviewing restaurants is being looked after really well. In this case, we were greeted by the (handsome) owner, Olivier and seated at a great table with a bay window and view of the Opera House. Sigh. All the children were looked after promptly and the staff didn’t even bat an eyelid when Poppy shredded a piece of bread into a thousand pieces and swiped the crumbs onto the floor.
But hey, let’s talk about the food!
The first entree, picture above, was Salade de betteraves rouges, radis, bavarois aux carottes et cumin: A salad of organic beetroot, breakfast radish, carrot and cumin bavarois, rye and mushroom crumb ($18). It was stunningly pretty – don’t you agree? I seriously did not want to touch it.
The mushroom crumb added the most wonderful texture to the whole dish and I especially loved the little radishes. The carrot puree/bavarois was light and creamy and just lovely when coupled with all the other elements without overpowering them.
The second entree was Oeufs Meurette: Burgundy poached hens egg, speck, beech mushrooms, brioche, Burgundy glaze ($17). It’s hard to tell from this photo how perfectly soft poached the egg was – one tiny prick with the fork released the runny yolk onto the plate, creating an instant rich sauce for the brioche to greedily soak up.
The beech mushrooms were meaty and strong flavoured and stood up well to the speck. Can I just make an observation here; mushrooms and porky products (bacon, pancetta, proscuitto) are just a match made in heaven. This whole dish with the egg, mushrooms and speck had all the elements for a very, very posh breakfast. Perhaps for my next Mother’s Day for breakfast in bed? I hope you’re reading this hubby!
The first main course was Mulet grillé, lentilles du puy, olives, fenouil grillé, vinaigrette aux lardons: Grilled yellow eye mullet, puy lentils, olive, grilled fennel, bacon vinaigrette and shimeji mushrooms ($31).
The mushrooms were not the star of this dish, but were lightly cooked to let the subtle flavours shine through. I absolutely loved the mullet’s crispy, salty skin and the earthy lentils as an accompaniment. The occasional bursts of olive added more salty punches, and I am always a sucker for edible flowers, they are just so pretty!
The second main course was definitely what Mushroom Mania is all about. The Cuisse de canard confite et son magret grillé, ragout de champignons, épinards, arlette aux oignions: Confit leg and grilled breast of duck, ragout of mushrooms, wilted spinach, onion arlettes ($37) was an outstanding mushroom ‘hero’ dish.
Almost every bite contained a juicy piece of mushroom – shiitake, enoki, oyster – they were all there for the party. The rich jus was soaked up by the mushrooms making them taste even more meaty and savoury, so yummy.
In addition to their delicious French-inspired food they also make fantastic macarons (read my review of them here) so whether you are looking for lunch, dinner or afternoon tea in The Rocks, Baroque Bistro should be your first port of call. Bon appetit!
*After travelling to many cities across the world, I think the view of Sydney Harbour, the water sparkling on a sunny day, with the Opera House and Bridge in the background, is seriously THE best view in the world. In my humble opinion.
Food bloggers don’t get to have all the fun – you can join in too!
Simply visit one of the participating restaurants in your state (click here for a list) and then write up a short review to be in the running to win $100 every week in July, thanks to Mushroom Growers Australia.
This restaurant was reviewed as part of Mushroom Mania month which is happening all across Australia during July 2011. Fig & Cherry dined at Baroque Bistro with compliments of Mushroom Growers Australia.