Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Annie Smithers' Bistrot (Kyneton) 11/2010

Is there an Annie Smithers? Yes there is and she cooks at her eponymous bistro at 72 Piper Street, Kyneton. Little over an hours drive from Melbourne this is a good example of an Australian country town. Details would be superfluous but apart from the interesting antique shops we were told that there were two outstanding, and very different, restaurants. Annie Smithers' Bistrot is one and the Royal George is the other. We had lunch at the Bistro and were astounded.The Bistro occuppies a pleasant simply furnished room

with plenty of space between the large tables. The wood floors and bare brick walls are a potential noise trap though this was not a problem with few patrons remaining during our late lunch. The menu is simple, on one side of a single sheet. Four entrees ($18.50) on the left, six mains ($34) in the middle and four desserts ($14.50) on the right. They also have cheese ($12.50 for one or $25.50 for a taste of four) That last 50 cents struck us as odd. We started with chicken livers, bacon, spinach and veal jus, a sometimes risky choice.
It was superb. The tender livers lightly sauteed, just barely cooked but not at all raw, the jus not too reduced, the combination with the lardons and spinach balanced a mouth watering dish worth a return visit.

Their char grilled eye fillet
was served with the most delicate potato croquettes, a first class home made Bernaise sauce and rocket which we replaced with a leaf salad. Once again the excellent produce was handled with care and could not have been better. The Glenloth lamb in thee different presentations
with lightly steamed young broccoli on a separate plate
was equally excellent. A dessert of crepes with lemon curd, strawberries and creme fraiche was much improved by the strawberries being lightly cooked and served warm.

Overall the food was treated with understanding and suggested a deep sensitivity to the produce. The kitchen garden outside the back door, was probably a source for some of the vegetables. One can picture a triangle between the produce the chef and the patron which, in this case, was in perfect harmony.

Score: 15.5/20


neil said...

I've heard it was pretty good and your review confirms it. Does she sell homemade produce as the nam suggests? I know Annie makes medlar jelly which is a wonderful preserve.

Elliot and Sandra said...

Hi Neil,
There is a small range of homemade stuff, including medlar jelly, for sale. The labels describe them as "Traditional hand, made small batch, comestibles". We bought a French herb salt rub which approximates to herbs of Provence, for a lamb roast or to 'season a roast chook'! A very Australian/British name for a domestic fowl.