It is undeniably French, as is the service, but there is still much to love. It fits in the quite expensive bracket, but they do from time to time advertise limited time degustations in Good Living (only) which represent better value. No mailing list - but I suppose it is rather French to be uncompromising on certain things. So we attended for the October Duck Degustation (5 course for $68).
You may consider it odd then that I report my favourite course was a cheese course - Comté Gruyere - served with sliced apple and lavosh (probably house-made). It's a creamy, dreamy, nutty, complex, waxy piece of heaven and they served it perfectly ripe this time, which bested the last time I tried the cheese (also at Tabou). It reminded me that despite Heidi's Tasmanian offerings in Raclette, Tilsit and Gruyere being good, they're nothing on a great French version of the same cheese. Read more about Comté HERE.
The amuse bouche was a small tureen of Duck and Sweetcorn Consommé which was tasty, and stimulated our appetites. The first course was a Smoked Duck Breast with Celeriac Remoulade which was my favourite (after the cheese). The duck was wafer thin, tasty and the topping was a contemporary potato salad type entity - with celeriac where there would normally be potatoes!
There was a quite nice Croustillant of Duck with Foie Gras and Red Wine Sauce, that whilst being ethically suspect, was pleasurable. By the way, 'croustillant' seems to be another word for crispy - so think pastry wrapped duck like a spring roll. To be honest though, I had a better version of this sort of dish recently at Le Pelican... a review to look out for soon!
The next course was not to my taste - Confit Duck with Kipfler Potato and Picholine Olives - but here it is anyway as it may be just the dish that makes YOUR mouth water!
The dessert (preceded by the cheese course I loved) was enough to make anyone's mouth water - Spiced Duck Egg Parfait with Pomegranate Sauce. The wafer on the top and bottom was a sugary, buttery piece of crisp pastry that dissolved on your tongue in the most delightful way. Now if that was what communion wafers were about, I could see a younger me being much more enthusiastic - perhaps it could be a future church recruiting tool? The pieces of sugar soaked blood orange on top of the cinnamon rich parfait were also quite amazing.
We washed it all down with a perfectly nice bottle of Mon Redon Cotes du Rhone 2003 ($42). This duck rich menu goodness can be had every night in October - bookings are essential.
527 Crown St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Ph: (02) 9319 5682