Friday, June 19, 2015

The French Brasserie, Melbourne CBD

A rather posh restaurant popular with the corporate set near the Paris end of Collins Street, The French Brasserie enjoys loyal custom from the surrounding office buildings. It's tucked away behind 101 Collins, off Flinders Lane, down the same alleyway which hosts Eau De Vie. If you find yourself near The French Brasserie, then make it a point to visit E.D.V. for a pre-meal aperitif or a post-meal tipple. 

Both of these establishments specialise in the art of refinement. Whereas E.D.V. has been designed to evoke memories of velvet curtains, and chaise lounges, and eras bygone, The French Brasserie on the other hand is comprised of sleek lines, and smooth surfaces, and modern sophistication.

Unfortunately, in this instance, we only had the luxury of enjoying a less than sophisticated dinner at our desks. A beautifully rich, and decadent dinner nevertheless. The menu isn't overtly extensive, and the takeaway options are even more limited, but what it does do, it does very very well. 

The baguette came to us slightly warm, with a crunchy crust, yet softly doughy once pried apart. It didn't come with any butter, but luckily the sides of French beans were generously drizzled with a decadent butter sauce and there was plenty of liquid for the whole loaf.

The French beans themselves were green and crunchy and topped with sauteed onions and almond flakes. It was a winning combination and the perfect accompaniment with our steaks.

The steak was similarly outstanding, and even though, it was takeaway steak, it maintained its succulence and juiciness, and  medium rare texture - I was severely impressed. Oh and those French fries that are also peeking out in the photo? They somehow also maintained their crunch and gastronomical integrity. After that satisfying meal, the long night ahead suddenly didn't seem so tragic anymore.

Click to add a blog post for The French Brasserie on Zomato 

Mrs Parma, Melbourne CBD

Bit of a Melbourne institution, Mrs Parma's is a bit of an expert in parmagianas, as one might expect. The decor resembles a pub and the feel is homely and comfortable. The venue's size, along with the reasonable prices and generous servings are fantastic for large groups. We came here in a group of ten or so, and we were put near the back. 

We ordered our drinks at the bar and got a bit rowdy. The staff didn't mind too much and the surrounding tables were equally boisterous. 

Food service was a bit patchy, because the restaurant was a bit understaffed and they didn't have a discernible staffing system, but with some persistence, we successfully got our orders in and our food served to us. The food when it all came out was very good.

I had ordered a British parma which consisted of a Yorkshire pudding, a good amount of mash, ladles of gravy, atop a thick parmagiana. I loved the formidable serving size, and relished the challenge of finishing all of it. Adding to my excitement was an endless supply of communal hot chips, steamed vegies and garden salads. The joy of so much food kept me eating for at least a good solid hour before I started to feel the fragility of the human appetite. Once again, I wish I had the super power to eat endlessly, and lamented on the fact of my bodily limitations.

Click to add a blog post for Mrs Parma's on Zomato