Sunday, April 27, 2014

A La Bouffe (South Yarra) 04/2014

It is not often that we enter a restaurant and immediately feel that we are about to have a very pleasing meal. That is how we felt when we came to A La Bouff. The name roughly translates as ‘To the Table’ It occupies a shopfront on Toorak Rd. Décor is simple, and inoffensive. 

There is a well stocked bar.
Tables are adequately spaced with white linen napkins cloths covered with a good quality paper stamped with the restaurant name. 
So how did it turn out.
The menu like the name is very French including escargot, a fish soup, bouillabaisse, and a cassoulet.
Sandra’s first course, seven snails in little metal pots in a classical garlic butter sauce and covered in parsley. As good as one could expect.
 My tripe entrée was in a superb beautifully balanced tomato sauce.
 A pear and walnut salad with blue cheese and rocket was a very good combination.
For mains I had an excellent kangaroo steak in a good jus.
While this was about as good as a kangaroo steak an get the bouillabaisse was the best I have eaten in Australia. Sea bass is not available here so they used red snapper, salmon, prawns, mussels and scallops to make a soup that was almost sweet, incorporating tastes of the ingredient in an unusually fine balance. 
Really outstanding. It came with thin slices of Parmigiano cheese and a very well matched rouille and a few slices of toast. 
Sandra’s pork belly was excessively salty. Although the accompanying cabbage was superb
 she decided to have a fillet steak instead. Because I had ordered chips she asked for mashed potatoes instead of the normal pomme frites. This turned out to be short on salt and could have had a bit more butter.

We had a sample of desserts. 
The berry pie was a little heavy and did not appeal
 and the il flottante was not to our taste 
but their chocolate mousse was outstanding 
and the creme brullee perfect. 
Nougat ice cream was also beaut.
 Service, which was very efficient and informed, came with a French accent. Refill bread and butter were offered without having to be requested. As good as it was there was a major fault when they entirely forgot my charcuterie plate!
The wine list is adequate and reasonably priced though the total bill came out a little above average
Score: 15.5/20

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