The French Brasserie

2 Malthouse Lane,
(Off Flinders Ln, near Exhibition St)
Melbourne 3000

The long awaited review on the mini-degustation menu at French Brasserie is finally here! Apologies it has been a very long time since I received this voucher courtesy of the Mad-Hatter Spring picnic food bloggers event, for my Double Chocolate Brownies (which I have since made once more – sad I know, only once.)

Turning off from the narrow Flinders laneway into quiet but strangely alit alleyway; no doubt this was the evening sun bouncing off from the mirror-like exterior of the towering buildings above us. The interior is extremely airy – as bestowed by the soaring ceilings – and yet warm from the soft lighting, simple mahogany/ timber finishes and touches of scattered artwork.

As the voucher itself designates the 4 course degustation menu (Formule du Chef $70) for 2 people and we were not adept-eaters of French fare, we did not think to order otherwise. So now to see what awaits us…


Charcuterie – The French platter. We were each presented with three generous slabs of French terrine. The pork was chunky and beautifully savoury, whilst the duck liver was divinely soft, creamy and *ahem* rich. The final piece was possibly chicken. I would’ve appreciated more of the pain de campagne (French country bread, similar to sourdough) and toasted buttery brioche to accompany the decadent terrine. Side plots included a scatter of caperberries, drizzle of red wine vinegar reduction and thinly-sliced sausage made with cured meats, which oddly enough had a resemblance to Chinese sausage (‘lap-cheung’).

{Plats de Resistance}

Le Canard a l’orange. The gorgeous fan of beautifully seared pink duck breast was soft, tender and incredibly succulent to bite. The sesame seed-crusted skin had a crispy charring that offered a caramelised-bitter aroma to contrast the sweet, citrusy and yet paradoxically savoury orange sauce beneath. This was the dish of the night for me – absolutely mouth watering! I want MORE!!!

Le Lotte. This was a dish of firm flesh Rock flathead married with a crispy skin of duck. At first I thought, I’ve never had such extraordinary fish skin, only to realise later that it was in fact the fatty elements of DUCK skin which gave those taste-bud popping flavours – such naivety on my behalf I must say. The smear of sweet roasted pumpkin puree, and mustardy almond milk emulsion provided alternating kicks of flavour to the already delicious fish.


Bavarois Vanilla Pannacotta. One must never underestimate the creations that come in tiny portions, much like this shot glass of velvety smooth and light Bavarois and vanilla seed pannacotta, which had a seamless liqueur kick. Above this creamy white layer were ‘red-fruit’ (aka orange) and syrupy ‘red-fruit’ sauce. I was expecting this tiny miracle to be horrendously sweet, but turns out to be a perfect balance of sweetness and acidity.

Just thought I’d add in the dripping red-fruit sauce for your enjoyment =). OO oo OO and you can also see the vanilla seeds peeking through!

Did you really think I passed up ordering wine… 2007 Durandal “Bordeaux Superieur” ($12) – it’s subtle peppery spice, soft floral notes and largely mellow and light wafts of grape aroma were delicious. Side note: Bordeaux Superieur along with Red Bordeaux represent the cheapest variety of Bordeaux wines. That goes to show the awesome’ness of Bordeaux wines!

Rating: surpasses a Yummy+1 – Minimalistic but modern flair of French cuisine, which attracts quite the French crowd – everyone was conversing in French. I really should’ve gone a la carte (instead of degustation for 2), and thus tried more from their extensive menu… hrmph, next time ey? The service was warm and attentive, although we did have some difficulty communicating with the largely French staff with limited English…

You may also like: Madhatter Spring PicnicMadame Sousou, Parisian Patisserie, Creperie Le Triskel.

[Sponsored by The French Brasserie]

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10 Responses to “The French Brasserie”
  1. Is this the same brasserie as the one in crown back then?!

  2. Nice one….. what a journey to get the vouchers but we made it in the end. 🙂

  3. msihua says:

    Oooo.. the plate de resistance looks sooooo good.. I’m drooling!!

  4. April says:

    Wow, that looks awesome! I particularly like the dripping red-fruit sauce photo :P. You may have mentioned it before, but what camera do you use?

  5. Tom Boi says:

    I’m such an alcohol novice sooo I have to ask, sooo red wine matches duck?

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  • Food RATING scale

    Unpleasant: damn upset my desire to eat

    Average: palatable but many shortcomings

    Yummy: a pleasant experience

    Yummy +1: mouth-watering like rain

    Yummy +2: exquisite flavours that hit all the right notes

    Divine: sheer culinary perfection!

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