The French Bistrotis a charming slice of real France in West End, with a secret courtyard bar out back.
The bistro and bar is full of pretty nooks and crannies, with a deck to one side, cosy chic dining rooms out front and back and terrace seating as well as the rear undercover bar.
On the light side of the menu are Share Plates, perfect to enjoy with a French cocktail, champagne or wine: charcuterie, cheese or the recommended Assiette Gourmand (pan-seared prawns, jambon and marinated salmon).
Also available to accompany a drink from the bar are Entrees, such as Roasted Camembert with fresh pesto and croutons; traditional Tartare de boeuf or salmon; Snails in garlic butter or Foie Gras de Canard (authentic duck liver terrine with quince paste, French pickles and baguette).
Mains include Duck Breast with honey sauce, Entrecote Grille (rib fillet with creamy pepper sauce and thick cut French fries), Gambas a la provencale (prawns cooked in pastis tomato, garlic and parsley with rice), Scallop Linguine with saffron and dill sauce or Moreton Bay Bugs baked in cream and parmesan cheese with truffle oil.
For dessert it’s hard to go past The French Bistrot crème brulee, otherwise there’s warm chocolate fondant with vanilla ice-cream or French panna cotta with fresh berries.
To accompany there’s a cracking French wine list, including reds, whites, rose, champagne, sparkling wines and sweet wine.
Diners can also start their meals in real French style with an Apperitif such as Armagnac or Ricard and finish with a traditional Digestif such as Absinthe, Chartreuse or Calvados.
The other drawcard here are the French cocktails, from regions from north to south – think French Riviera Gin Fizz, La Normande (calvados shaken with honey and topped up with strong and sweet cider) or the house signature The French Bistrot (gin shaken with sugar syrup and lemon, topped with champagne.
There’s also a handful of Classic Cocktails such as Traditional French Martini (vodka shaken with Chambord and pineapple juice), Espresso Martini, Cosmopolitan and Margarita.
Otherwise a range of standard spirits is complemented by a couple of premium: Grey Goose Vodka and Johnny Walker Gold Label Whisky.
And for beer drinkers, French brews on offer include La Verte du Mont Blanc au Genepi and Kronenbourg 1664.
Need to know – Friday night at The French Bistrot is cocktail night, with $14 cocktails.