Rozelle Markets and Le Grande Bouffe

There are often things in your mind that you remember differently to what is actually reality. I’m not sure if that is what happened when on a return trip to Rozelle markets or I have just been spoilt.Every Saturday and Sunday the markets are held on the ground of Rozelle Primary School. It has been about 15 years since I was last there so I guess my mind played tricks on me although their website does claim they are Sydney’s favourite second hand market. Really!? Surely not. 

There are alot of second hand clothes, brick-a-brac and plants. If you have a really good look you may find a few odd things but I doubt it will appease the yearning for a good market find. There was one little stand at the back of the school grounds enclosed in it’s own white marque which stood out form the surrounding brick-a-brac. The stallholder had gone to alot of trouble to present her goods in a more appealing way. It did work and I was drawn into her marque away for the impending rain. 

Although, if you want quality vintage pieces I suggest you save your pennies and head further up the road to quintessential duckeggBLUE.

I had already planned to head to for lunch after reading about it on Katie’s blog but unfortunately it was closed. Saturday lunch in Rozelle closed?? Apparently only open 5-930pm daily. Anyway I headed to the nearby Le Grande Bouffe which was busy busy busy. I arrived about 130pm to be told there would be a 45min wait for a table. I was hungry but after pounding the pavement all day I was not prepared to walk back into Balmain to find lunch. The “old man’s pub” on the corner provided a quick drink while I waited.

The lightest entree on the menu was a salad of smoked trout, radish, lettuce, and trout roe in a horseradish cream. It was a pleasant first course, crispy crunchy lettuce, very light horseradish and popping trout roe.

Fish of the day was bonito served with carrot puree, potatoes and a red wine jus. I love crispy fish skin, although the fish itself was over cooked. Combined with the sweet carrot and flavoursome jus it managed bring moisture to the dish. The raw tomato cubes lifted the freshness of the dish. If only the fish wasn’t over cooked I would have loved it.

Dessert, sour cherry clafoutis with vanilla ice cream was the highlight. Even the outer edges of what some may say are over cooked, were a flavour filled texture crunch. The vanilla ice cream was very sweet but balanced with the sour cherries a great match. Thin but fluffy, I wanted another.

It was a good way to end a meal and I was well looked after by the staff who continued to smile during the lunchtime rush. When I’m back in Rozelle I will ring ahead for a table at Le Grande Bouffe. The area was obviously in need of a neighbourhood restaurant of this caliber and has welcomed a bit of french flair amongst the overload of Asian and Italian restaurants which line Darling St.

Galvin Bistrot de Luxe

I always look forward to a trip to Paris. The elegance of the French and their panache for fine food, and great bistros. I love to wander the streets and see where they take me.

Then a quick trip on the Eurostar and bam, your back in London. The holiday is over and it’s back to work.  If your lucky you might find a place that can take you back.  Head to Bistrot de Luxe.Bistrot de Luxe is celebrating 5 years this September. Brothers Chris and Jeff Galvin began the Galvin empire with Bistrot de Luxe.  Between the two they have worked at some very well respected restaurants such as, The Ritz, The Lanesborough, Ménage à Trois,  Orrery, Almeida, The Wolsely, Chez Nico, The Greenhouse, Oak Room and L’Escargot.

Chris spends most of his time at Bistrot de Luxe.  He and Sara (Chris’ lovely wife) want the focus of the restaurant to be one Marylebone locals feel at home in.  A place people can pop into during the week or on a Sunday night and enjoy some good french bistro fare at a good price. A set lunch for £17.50 and £19.50 for dinner is excellent value.

The birthday dinner was held down in Le Bar and hosted by Sara Galvin. Having worked at the Savoy, she really had some great stories to tell. Chris also pulled himself away from the kitchen to tell us about the Bistrot and chat about the dishes of the night. The aperitif maison was a classic French 75. The Bistrot de Luxe version contains Calvados, Champagne, lemon, and sugar. A very light and refreshing start to the evening.Our entree was a dish which was on the menu 5 years ago and still holds it’s place on the menu today. Terrine of Ham Hock and Foie Gras and Onion Confit. Not only did the terrine look beautiful, it tasted rich and meaty.  The sweet onion confit balanced out the dish perfectly.

Served with a Riesling ‘Brandluft’ 2006, Domaine Lucas and Andre Rieffel, a fresh mineral tasting wine cut with a lime acidity and mildly sweet.

Wow! Pithiver of Wood Pigeon and Quail, Chantenay carrots and a red wine jus. I think  I have mentioned before that I love puffy pastry. Seasonal game of wood pigeon and quail, wrapped in caul and packed inside buttery puff pastry, a delicious dish. This was also a dish on their menu 5 years ago.  We were very kindly given the recipe to try at home. What a great intimate dinner party dish it would make. If only I could make it look as professional, practice makes perfect!

A delicious Corbières Classique 2008, Château Ollieux-Romanis, Languedoc was served to complement the richness of the pigeon. A blend of Carignan, Syrah and Grenach to give a soft full bodied wine.
Dessert needed to be some thing light. Roast Figs with Lavender Ice-Cream was just that. The figs were so so soft and sweet they left my plate in no time at all!

I have eaten at Cafe a Vin and was impressed with the great value, fine food they served. I was equally impressed at Bistrot de Luxe. Jazz Sunday (the first Sunday in every month) at Bistrot de Luxe also sounds like a fun way to end the weekend on a high note.

Happy Birthday Bistrot de Luxe! I’m sure you will be around for many many more!Ms Macaroon was invited as a guest of Bistrot de Luxe.