Saturday, October 3, 2009

L'etoile ('Let's do Lunch!') - Paddington

It's Good food month!!! *jumps for joy*
In my mind, this is a month filled with eating lotza lotza good good yummy food.
In my wallets mind, this is the month where it starves.

Well, my first pick of the month was a 'Let's do lunch'. Our options was limited by the fact that we were only available on Saturdays (which takes out a HUGE bunch of restaurants >.<) and that I didn't think my friends from the south would be willing to drive north north north (eg. to Pilu).

And so, we settled for L'etoile, a one-hat restaurant situated in Paddington.
Booking this place immediately revealed the French authenticity of this place, the waiter carried a very heavily accent and I had to repeat several times when I wanted the booking and for how many people LOL

Anyway, as expected, it was a raining, dreary day and so, the nice cozy atmosphere of this restaurant was a warm welcome.

Though there appeared to be a limited menu, with no more than three choices for each section of entree, main, dessert or side dishes, we still found ourselves being extremely indecisive. My choice, for once, was easy - the 'Let's do Lunch' with chef Manu ($35). This included a Papillotte of John Dory and Foie Gras on a Bed of Tarragon-scented Spring Vegetables as the main, a brown brothers chardonnay, and a coffee at the end.

I unwrapped my john dory with much much excitement as it smelled sooo super super good. The taste, however, was quite interesting. Despite much aroma, the foie gras bought along with it just a subtle taste. The veges were soaked in a tarragon butter oil mixture. Despite the yellow buttery goodness that the fish was swimming in, the dish did not strike me as a heavy... the taste was actually quite light.

brown brothers

John Dory and foie gras

awesome lemon

My company each ordered a two-course meal ($45). A basket of bread ($4) was also wanted by my partner. The bread was warm and awesomely fluffy on the inside and crunch on the outside... and my partner made a HUGE mess (and even dumped some crumbs on my side of the table! grrrr >.<).
bread - $4

The entree that my friend opted for was the Terrine de lapin et foie gras, confiture de pruneau. What that means in english is simply a terrine of rabbit and foie gras, with prune and armagnac jam on the side (and some nice looking greens in the middle). According to my friend, the foie gras (the pale orangey yellowy patch in the terrine) in this was awesomely heavenly.

terrine of rabbit and foie gras

My partner's entree was a salad of watercress and smoked rainbow trout on a bed of kipfler potatoes. To increase the refreshingness of this salad, the chefs added bits of crunch juicy apples. The smoked trout in this dish was very tasty and smoked-like and complemented the blandness of the watercress very very well. The bed of potatoes were mixed in a kind of seeded mustard? type thing. The taste was very subtle and again, the dish was nice and light.

smoked rainbow trout salad

Now onto the mains. The three of my company each ordered one of the three choices of mains. There was the spelt risotto with wild mushrooms. This was ... umm... interesting? Not being a risotto fan to begin with, the taste of spelt (a hardy wheat grown mainly in Europe) in my mouth reminded me of very very wholegrain wholemeal cereal... only warm. It had a very rough type of texture - not smooth and creamy at all. The wild fungi were good. But I think overall, this taste did not sit well with my tastebuds.

spelt risotto

The steak with paris butter was prepared "medium". However, it was more medium-rare-like in the middle, and well done for the two edge pieces. Maybe that's how the French people do it? Overall, the steak didn't look too bad. Still juicy and pink :)

steak with paris butter

My partner's kingfish was a bit of a dissappointment. I guess it's really really hard to cook a multi-thickness fillet of fish. To start off with, the fish did not have much taste. It was sitting ontop of a whitebean salad and truffle vinaigrette - which my partner (who normally likes beans) didn't appreciate too much). The fish, on the whole, might have been a touch overcooked (which is super not good for a one-hat restaurant) and I reckon that the skin was a bit on the soggy side. Hmmm....

Pan-roasted kingfish

After the mains were done, my mocha and my friend's cheese plate came out. With a variety of cheeses (and yet another basket of bread), this ensured that we were all very thoroughly full.


cheese plate

Overall, the food wasn't as awesome as I had expected. The 'let's do lunch' offer was good... but I guess still not the best fish I've had. However, the waiters were super friendly and nice. They let us chat and chat and chat and chat... The French sure do have courtesy. Even after they had cleared our plates for ages, they never once hassled us for the bill. They let us take our own good time, and it wasn't until three hours later (and the once busy restaurant became empty) that we figured that it was time to go :)

Food - 6.5/10
Service - 9/10
Ambiance - 8/10
Value for money - 6.5/10
Overall - 30/40

211 Glenmore Road
NSW 2021
tel: (02) 9332 1577


Anonymous said...

Oh I didn't realise they had Let's Do Lunch on weekends? Which ones?

How exciting, as I can only do weekends too!

bbsnoopy said...

I don't think there is many.
I'm planning to just call up restaurants I'm interested in and seeing if they do it or not. I'm guessing that restaurants which only open fri - sunday for lunch ought to do the 'lets do lunch' on a sat? :P
(i hope) ...

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