An acquaintance of mine has for some time been telling me about a French restaurant in Sydney’s Neutral Bay, which offers membership to diners (at no charge) then offers members a $70 8-course desgustation menu. Plus its BYO with no corkage charge. Well, I was intrigued. That seemed too good to be true.
Sydney’s fine-dining establishments such as Guillaume at Bennelong (7 courses $180), Quay (4 courses $145), Marque (8 courses $145), and Aria (7 courses $160) , to name but a few, offer degustation menus at double this price and beyond. Of course, these fine-diners have been acclaimed by the SMH Good Food Guide in the last year, earning 2 or 3 hats so it is perhaps an unfair comparison to make with Mrs Top. It is worth noting that there are other French restaurants in Sydney offering the multi-course tasting menu option such as the highly regarded Bistro Ortolan ($110 + $10 corkage per bottle) Nevertheless I took a party of 4 diners there last week, and I was impressed.
Firstly the service was excellent – a very attentive and charming young French waiter ensured that we were looked after, whisking our wine away to keep chilled, then returning quickly with wine bucket and serving our wine. I left some wine behind at the restaurant and the manager called me to inform as such – how many restaurants would do that? Impressive. Special mention must go to Marko, the manager there – he was charming and always available to us, even given the restaurant was completely full.
Of course, the food was fresh and delicious – it was a seafood night and we were served up prawns, mussels, crab and lobster soup, fish fillet in garlic white wine sauce, an sorbet at “intermission” the a delicious berry creme brulee for dessert. In fact, from their website here is the menu from our evening:
Roulade de saumon St. Tropez
Roulade of salmon filled with spinach, goat’s cheese & herbs
Soupe de Poissons Provencal
Rich lobster, blue swimmer crab and seafood soup. Pastis perfumed
Coctail Fruit de mer
Classic French Prawn cocktail
Coquilles St. Jacques provencales
Scallops seared in saffron, tomatoe sauce, mushroom jullienne
Passionfruit, Apple & Rose Sorbet
Poisson d’Antibes au beurre blanc
Fillet of Barramundi served in white wine sauce, chive & pepper
Crème d’airelle brulée
The French caramelized classic, enhanced with blueberries & peach snapps
It was a fantastic night out – and once again special mention must be made to the value on offer here. I urge you to enquire about membership of this restaurant (no charge to join) and enjoy fine-dining at very reasonable prices.
Mrs Top French Regional Cuisine