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Subiaco (Perth WA), July 24, 2012

Belated Bastille Day Celebration at Bistro des Artistes

On a cold winter’s night nearly 70 members and guests celebrated (albeit belatedly) France’s Bastille Day (July 14th) by enjoying a superb French dining experience at the recently-opened Bistro des Artistes at 424 Hay Street, Subiaco.

The restaurant may be new to the Perth foodie scene, but its two French co-owners – Chef Alain Fabrègues and pastry-specialist Chef Emmanuel Mollois – are certainly not.

Bistro des Artistes seeks to elevate French bistro dining to a new level, beyond merely a simple, hearty and casual meal. It has moved to a higher level with an artisanal and innovative take on well-known and long-established French bistro cuisine.

Diners were greeted with a glass of Laurent Perrier Brut NV after which we launched into the enjoyment of a succession of French winter favourite dishes, each course being accompanied by a delicious and perfectly-partnered glass of wine.

All of the dishes were superb, but for me there were three highlights.

The first was the “marble” of foie gras and truffle (photo left), where generously thick slices of truffle were layered terrine style with unprocessed foie gras. Cross cut slices topped with generously thick shavings of truffle were then served for each diner, accompanied by country-style bread. The flavours and textures transcended description – you had to be there to understand.

The next highlight was the Blanquette of veal (photo right) served in a small enamel pot. Again it was generously topped with thick shavings of truffle with rice.

The third highlight was the dessert (photo below right), specially designed by Chef Emmanuel so as to complement the flavours of the truffle dishes that had preceded it. The perfect chocolate crème bavarois dome covering the caramel tart was so glossy you expected it to be a hard shell, and diners expressed surprised when it turned out to be a soft, creamy layer.  As if the dessert wasn’t French enough, Chef Emmanuel incorporated half a stick of Caramba, a French caramel lolly, into the mix!

Hare "à la Royal" with some chestnuts                                                      Dessert: Crème bavaroise au Caramba et tarte au caramel

There was also a bonus “entrée” dessert which was not listed on the menu – a mini rice pudding in a little ramekin to tide everyone over while the “main” dessert was being plated up en masse.

The front of house was also superb, efficiently and quickly bringing the dishes to each diner in good order, and despite the pressure and constant bustle, it was never difficult to get the attention of someone to replace a lost napkin or refill a glass of wine for those who wanted to revisit their favourite drop that evening.

Melvin Yeo
Chargé de Presse