Phone: 03 5422 2039
Cuisine: Classic French bistro with a twist
Overall Impression: 7.5/10
Upon entering the restaurant, the bar area is the first sight that greets you. The mood is upbeat and sexy. Within mere seconds, we were greeted by a welcoming Maitre d' who ushered us into the dining area. It is at once a lot warmer and calmer. The exposed brick interior design is natural and rustic, almost homely.
The wine list is not particularly large but there are a good variety of Australian reds on offer. To the restaurant’s credit, there is a lesser than usual mark-up on the wines. Perhaps this is a feature of country restaurants (we experienced the same thing when dining in Rutherglen).
Annie Smithers Bistrot stands out for its garden to table approach on food. We are told that about 90% of the food served is from their garden nearby.
sauteed locally cultivated mushrooms, poached bantam egg, balsamic vinegar
This dish was beautifully simple. It reminds you of how delicious home-grown food can be. The flavours are far more intense and yet natural at the same time. The egg was perfectly poached, with luscious yolk oozing out from the piercing of its albumen by my knife. The mushrooms were palatable and the balsamic vinegar brought just the right hint of acidity to the dish. Simple and to the point.
Main: Fish $36
pan roasted snapper fillet, potato puree, spinach, blue swimmer crab bisque
The snapper was cooked to perfection. The skin was perfectly crisp and the flesh was tender and juicy. The blue swimmer crab bisque was intensely dense in flavour. It was heavenly.
free range corn fed duck, confit leg, spaetzle, spinach, dijon mustard
slow roasted central highlands lamb leg, bean ragu, potato puree, rosemary
Some pieces of the lamb were unfortunately sinew-ridden. This was forgiven by the fact that the pieces that were not were mouth-wateringly good. It is pertinent to note however that this dish was particularly small compared to the other mains we had ordered, which was disappointing.
chervil and tarragon, gnocchi parisienne, asparagus, broad beans, creme fraiche, parmesan