We had a good attendance for the French food served at Le Bouchon for the August lunch. 24 members and 5 guests attended and we were treated to a 3 course meal of typical French cooking with matching French wines.
On arrival we consumed a Monmousseau Brut Etoile from Loire Valley. This sparkling was light, plenty of clean fruit and considered a refreshing start to the lunch.
Les Entrees – a choice of four :
Twice Baked Blue Cheese & Spinach Souffle with confit cherry tomatoes
Escargots with Persillade and warm baquette
French Onion Soup with Gruyere Croutons
House Terrine, Pork & Black Pudding Rillettes with onion jam and toasted baquette
The favourite entree chosen by over a third of the ladies was the Twice Baked Souffle. This entree scored highly with a number of 10’s and was considered light and with a tasty blue cheese flavour.
The French Onion soup was considered excellent. The escargots disappointing as there was grit in the dish.
Les Mains were :
Pan Roasted Barramundi Fillet, truffled cauliflower veloute and diamond clams
Braised Beef Cheeks a la Bourguignonne with parmentier potatoes
Pan Roasted Duck Breast and confit duck leg with brussels sprout and lentils jus
The ladies certainly like duck as over 30 percent chose the duck main dish. Could be because duck is not cooked at home too often. The breast was cooked just enough to retain moisture in the meat but the confit was not considered to be cooked to traditional methods.
The Beef Cheeks were succulent after hours of slow cooking and the Barramundi was inconsistent on plates as perfectly cooked on some plates but mush on one other.
Les desserts :
Ile Flottante – light meringue with creme anglaise and sticky sweet caramel
Rhubarb Creme Brulee
Opera Cake with white chocolate crumble, ganache and chocolate sorbet
The light meringue dessert was by far the favourite choice and did not disappoint. The meringue was light, no hint of sugar grains and the sticky caramel sauce was refined.
A visually pleasing dessert as well with the toffee grid on top.
This was a well constructed dessert and was favoured by the chocoholics.
The white wine was a Picpoul Blanc 2015 Autanel, Languedoc
The red wine was Chateau St. Maurice 2015, Rhone Valley
Both wines were considered well matched with the food and the red wine rated more favourably than the white.
The chef, who is cordon bleu trained, talked on how he had cooked the beef cheeks and the way to double cook a souffle.
The wait staff were courteous and experienced, although the service from the kitchen was a little slow.
A thoroughly enjoyable lunch, delicious food, great wines.