Saturday, 6 April 2013

Claire’s Kitchen at Le Salon, 5 April 2013

Ever since my wife and I confirmed our upcoming trip to Paris we have become more and more fascinated by French cuisine and bistro dining. Given that is still many months away, we decided that we needed to have some French bistro dining in the meantime to at least satisfy our cravings. We had walked by Claire’s Kitchen on Oxford St a number of times, which sparked our curiosity. So we had a look around on Urbanspoon and the foodies seemed to enjoy it so we decided to go on a Friday night. As others have commented, the décor gives the impression that you are indeed in a Parisian bistro. Plus the waiters are French.  

Claire's Kitchen at Oxford St
Nice couch
Decor has a Parisian bitsro feel
Le menu
 Back of le Menu
Mocktail - grapefuit juice, agrum ($8)
The mocktail was grapefruit with agrum. I love grapefruit so I found the drink to be quite enjoyable.  

Complimentary bread and butter
The sourdough bread was great. It had a great crust, as all sourdough bread should!


Roasted scallops with pumpkin sabayon and micro herbs ($24)
I ordered the scallops for entrée. I definitely liked the presentation. The scallops were nicely seared on the outside. The centre was translucent and tender. The pumpkin saboyan had a subtle sweetness and went well with the scallops. The microherbs were also a nice compliment. The scallops themself needed more flavour and seasoning. And they were a bit lukewarm. But overall a good starter.     

Pumpkin tortellini, goat's cheese, almonds, tomatoes, asparagus ($24)
My wife ordered the special entrée, the tortellini. My wife found this to be an enjoyable dish with nice classic flavour combinations. Sweetness from the pumpkin, saltiness and creaminess from goat’s cheese, which was finished off with a nice butter sauce.


Duck and Pinot Noir pie with melted brie under the puff pastry crust ($36)
I ordered the duck pie for my main, which is a signature dish at Claire’s Kitchen. I can see why now.  It definitely delievered! This was easily my favourite dish of the night. The pastry was wonderfully buttery and flakey. The duck was very tasty and tender. I could definitely taste the pinot noir coming through! The melted brie inside the pie was great and goes very well with the pastry and duck. Then there was a bed of creamy mash underneath and rich gravy to have with the pie. I only have one word to describe this dish: YUM!
Twice cooked three cheese soufflé ($24)
My wife ordered the soufflé as her main, which was actually in the entrée menu. This turned out to be a wise decision because it is an incredibly rich and filling course that my wife could not finish. It was a well-executed soufflé with sharp cheese flavours, and moist, creamy centre. We were trying to guess the three cheeses that were used. The best we could do was Gruyere and gorgonzola.
French Fries ($8)
We also ordered a side of (bottomless, at least it felt like it) French Fries, so we were incredibly full after 2 courses. There definitely was no room left for dessert.
Highlight: The signature duck and pinot noir pie. One of the best pies in Sydney I have had to date.
Lowlight: We decided to eat Claire’s Kitchen due to it being valid with the Entertainment Book gold card as a newcomer. However we were not able to use the Entertainment Card to get our discount because there was a $160 minimum spend. I don’t remember seeing this disclosed on Entertainment Book’s website. For what it is, Claire’s is a little on the pricey side when paying full price.
Overall: Claire’s Kitchen is an authentic French bistro with great comfort food and friendly French waiters. 6.5/10 (Good)         

Claire's Kitchen at Le Salon on Urbanspoon