On a sunny Saturday afternoon recently I was surprised with an extraordinary lunch through the blue door in Sydney’s leafy suburb of Paddington.
Guillaume is an incredible chic French restaurant with a quaint, very elegant dining room.
Part of the hospitality group Relais and Chateux the restaurant is owned and operated by award winning French born chef Guillaume Brahimi.
We start in style with French champagne and pretty quickly decide on the degustation ($190 per person).
The wait staff at Guillaume are very polished and friendly. You can see they are proud to work in this prestigious little Sydney restaurant. The service truly is impeccable.
Before we begin the degustation we enjoy a complimentary sweet corn amuse-bouche mixed with seeds and a creamy sauce on top.
One of the things I love about this degustation menu is that each dish is built using the best produce from right across Australia.
The Kingfish is from Bateau Bay in NSW and is served with smoked eel, shiso, walnuts and apple. It’s a lovely fresh dish and a great way to start a 9 course degustation. The thin slice of granny smith apple adds not only a crispy texture but also a touch of sweetness.
The pea soup stars a mud crab from Mildura in Victoria with cucumber and tarragon. Served cold this is another refreshing dish easing into the degustation.
Our bottle of 2006 Andre Jacquart Grand Cru Champagne Blanc’s citrus notes and beautiful crisp finish was perfect with these dishes.
The Rangers Valley Wagyu Tartare, hailing from Glenn Innis in regional NSW, is served with oyster, sterling cavier and mushroom. It looks exquisite on the plate. I particularly love that the Wagyu and mushroom are combined rather than served as separate pieces. Rangers Valley Wagyu ranks in the highest marbling score in Australia. With the fried oyster sitting inside and caviar sprinkled on top, this dish is a standout. It’s one of those plates – you just can’t help but close your eyes as you savour every bite and each individual burst of flavour.
The King Island scallop is cooked perfectly and is served in it’s glamorous, shiny shell with truffle butter and endive.
Keeping with the seafood theme, the Murray Cod from Griffith in NSW is served next with white radicchio, currents, ortiz anchovy and macadamia. It’s a pretty looking dish garnished with a delicate flower and a beautiful buttery sauce to dip the fish fillet into.
Next up is duck from the Hunter Valley in NSW served with pear, carrot and honey. The pear has been grilled lightly adding a charcoal touch. The honey sauce is drizzled on by the waitress and compliments the duck and carrot perfectly.
We are treated in the degustation with not one but two Wagyu dishes making the menu. The Tajima Wagyu Beef from Macquarie Downs in QLD however is cooked and is served with cabbage, turnips and capers with a side of silky smooth mash potato. This is a nice hearty dish with wonderful buttery flavours both in the Wagyu and the mash.
Moving onto desserts we have the granny smith apple from Batlow NSW first, cooked and served with buttermilk, vanilla and almond – a great simple dessert with classic flavours.
The passionfruit souffle uses fruit from Gympie in QLD and is served in a stunning copper pot. As the waitress pours creme anglaise on top of the fluffy souffle you know you are in for a treat. The souffle is light and oh so delicious as is the beautiful creamy passionfruit ice cream.
With our coffee we are also offered to select from a gorgeous plate of chocolates, macarons and nougat.
Just as you leave and when you think the dining experience couldn’t get any better, the restaurant staff hand you a beautiful block of chocolate to take home. What a superb finishing touch to an amazing meal!
The Final say
Standout dish – Rangers Valley Wagyu Tartare (Glenn Innis NSW) served with oyster, sterling cavier and mushroom
Positives- Excellent service, quiet sophisticated dining space and exquisite food showcasing some of Australia’s best produce
Negatives – It’s not cheap ($190 degustation not including wine)
Address – 92 Hargrave Street Paddington NSW 2021
Website – http://www.guillaumes.com.au/
A special thank you to my amazing friend and fellow foodie Andrea for sharing this incredible lunch with me.