Something new is afoot at this old favourite. With owner/chef Jeff Salet busy over at recent addition Pelicano, Stuart Munro has put his personal touch onto the menu.
He has even managed to inject a little of himself into the (usually traditional) Basque style House Smoked Flathead Pie ($35), by the way of some spanner crab, lobster bisque and vanilla-infused tomatoes.
His youth brings a more adventurous experimentalism to a spot some claim is the most consistent French bistro in town – though thankfully he’s left...
...those stellar Wapengo Lake Oysters ($3.50/each) untouched.
Dotting Munro’s wild palate of Scallops ($22) you’ll find braised cos, sweet roasted new season garlic, garlic puree, mullet roe and intriguing, spicy-sweet guindilla peppers.
It’s good, but I preferred his moist disc of Rabbit Terrine ($22).
An oozing quail egg, cucumber ribbons and surprisingly intense squares of earl grey tea jelly further lubricate its passage. It shines against the dry, salty lick of Ally Salet’s recommended 2010 Les Parcellaires, Chateau Saint Maurice ($64).
Progressing into a classic sky-high seasonally flavoured Soufflé ($16), I recollect Jeff’s strong market-driven ethos.
As I sink further into the familiar warm service, I muse perhaps little has changed here at all, except for the expected passage of cuisine through time…
(You can see my last visit to Le Pelican back HERE and an article about them from earlier in 2012 HERE.)
411 Bourke Street, Surry Hills
Ph: (02) 9380 2622