Mention the name Claude’s you’re likely to hear: “I’ve always wanted to eat there, just never thought I could afford it.” Cue despondent look.
What this fails to take into account is that the fourth chef in the restaurant’s thirty-six year history, Chui Lee Luk, has made a radical departure: shifting fine dining upstairs and opening a casual, affordable eatery/wine bar downstairs!
While some might bemoan turning five star French technique into sliders, they clearly haven’t eaten the unctuous pork jowl and black fungus relish decorating the Pig Face Roll ($12/2).
Balance the sublimely rendered pig fat with simple Pickles ($6) before launching into death-by-Swiss-cheese...
...aka the airiest Double Baked Gruyère Soufflé ($22) you’re ever likely to meet!
While you will see a nod to a previous chef, Josephine Pignolet’s Chocolate Indulgence Cake ($14), it’s mostly a wild collision of French technique and heady Asian flavours – from ultra-smooth Chicken Liver Parfait with Achar Relish ($9) to...
...Fried Chook ($16) tamed with cashew and curry leaf.
Wash it down with a glass of pretty Spanish plonk, the 2010 Calvente Guindalera ($14), or a quaffable Aussie, Journey Wines 2011 Pinot Noir ($13), as you bask in the warmth of Manager Louise Tamayo.
Perhaps the question really should be: why haven’t you eaten at Claude’s?
10 Oxford Street, Woollahra
Ph: (02) 9331 2325