Max Allen: dodgy drops; The Bill: Sydney’s Guillaume; Short Order: Lyndey Milan
GUILLAUME 92 Hargrave St, Paddington, Sydney Phone: 02 9302 5222
LOCATION Online booking site Dimmi reported this month that diners spend more in Paddington restaurants than they do at venues in any other Sydney suburb, splurging an average $81 a head. And that report was completed before Guillaume opened. No wonder chef Guillaume Brahimi homed in on this genteel inner-city neighbourhood when his tenure at the Opera House came to an abrupt end last year. There’s money to burn in these parts, as Brahimi’s neighbours no doubt already know. Next door is Colin Fassnidge’s Four in Hand Dining Room, while up the road is vintage Italian Lucio’s.
About two-thirds of staff have migrated from Guillaume at Bennelong, which means this 60-seater two-level dining space is practically overstaffed, considering the old restaurant sat 180. There’s a measure of f reverential hush in the room as waiters glide de about, fussing over diners. If you’re lucky, you might score sommelier elier Chris Morrison on your table. He gives just the right amount of attention without cramping your style. le.
WAS IT WORTH IT? IT?
This is sophisticated, luxurious dining. But for this price, I personally would seek the genius of Sepia, Quay or Rockpool with their more dazzling, adventurous menus. Guillaume, I suspect, will be for serious old money — people who know French food and aren’t afraid to pay for it.
CREDIT CARD SURCHARGES?
FRFROM THE MENU
The Th food is old-school French: Fr small quantities of fussily fu prepared proteins supported su by techniquedriven d sauces. There are four menu options. We, time conscious on a school night, opt for four courses a la carte, $135. This offers a choice from four menu segments, the opening tranche of which includes dishes of raw bluefin tuna t with lemon foam and warm hints of wasabi, and “royale” of globe artichoke, a luxe custard studded with mud crab and truffle. Two further savoury courses based around delicate luxuries like Patagonian toothfish and quail are completed by a desserts section that includes a soaring Valrhona souffle with cherry ripple ice cream, which proves a serious threat to the waistline.
Special-occasion diners will find the eight-course $175 degustation features Brahimi’s signature basilinfused tuna as an amusebouche, while the budgetconscious can plump for one course ($48) or two courses ($75). All options are served with Paris mash and a leafy salad, plus Iggy’s rolls with Myrtleford butter.