Online communities have been growing vastly over the years, and they have become valuable places to find information on various topics from how to make proper Pavlova to finding a tasty restaurant in your area. People want to read other diner’s reviews that would be similar to their own, and not some fancy restaurant critic’s. Frank is a techy geek, out and proud, and he firmly believes that the more information there is out there the better for everyone.
I initially started this blog to document my daring cook’s challenges, and quickly it evolved to display the recipes I’ve found that are fool-proof (as they are thoroughly tested by a fool…) When we were invited to go for lunch by our equally foody-mad friends Pistol and Ferret I knew the place they’d chosen had some good reviews. So, following Frank’s mantra of sharing information, I thought I would review the restaurant on my blog! Wow, I am certainly growing up! 😉
One thing I should make clear now is that I am an Accountant by nature. I believe in getting value for money, no matter what it is. I am loathe to spend money on something that isn’t worth it, so if food is expensive I expect it to be delicious. Frank and I had a rather shocking experience in London, the restaurant was expensive and the food was terrible, and my blood still boils slightly thinking about it after 2 years. I will always pipe up if the food is bad, and I will always happily hand over my hard-earned notes (or perhaps not-so-hard earned notes if you ask my line manager) if the food is worth it.
On this glorious Sunday morning, Frank and I took the truck to Rozelle, one of my favorite suburbs. We had always passed a cute restaurant on our way to the Essential Ingredient and were keen to try it, so luckily Pistol and Ferret suggested it for an early lunch. La Grande Bouffe is a french restaurant, with wonderful decor and genuine French chefs. Pistol had booked us a table by the door, and despite the cool breeze it was the perfect spot. Our waiter came by soon after we were seated, and brought out drinks order over within 5 minutes. So far so good!
The lunch menu had a wide selection of meals: sandwiches, mains, light meals and all-day-breakfasts. Ferret and Pistol had been out for breakfast, and I had only woken up an hour before, so we chose light meals. Frank needed breakfast, so he chose one of the main meals. We placed our orders and waited about 30 minutes for the food to arrive. We didn’t notice the time too much as the company was fantastic, and the wait was certainly worth it.
I ordered the ham hock with puy lentils and a poached egg. When my food arrived, the accountant in me was slightly shocked at the small portion, but as soon as I tucked into it I was happy. The ham hock was very tender, and the poached egg was done to perfection.
Pistol and Ferret chose the octopus salad to share. The portion was a good size and the greens were fresh off the farm. Normally petrified of octopus legs, I bravely tried some of Ferret’s, and they were the most tender I have ever tasted. A+!
Frank chose a main of twice-cooked pork belly, and it was the dish of the day. The crackling was done perfectly and the pork just fell apart. Despite it being a small portion, Frank said it was rich enough that he wouldn’t need anymore than he had. Pistol and I tucked into some of it and were amazed.
When I was initially given my food I thought I better get some baguette in case I was still hungry after. The waiter brought it to the table very quickly, and it was warm and fresh. The butter was soft and easy to spread, and Ferret and I used it to mop any remaining sauce on my plate.
Now, when I do get value for money, I get very excited. And I was rather pleased with myself after our tasty lunch. (This might also have been due to Frank promising that we could pop into the Essential Ingredient afterwards.) Keen to check out the new goodies, Pistol asked for the bill. And this is where the shine disappeared off our great experience – we had to ask the waiting staff three times for the bill, and waited 25 minutes to finally pay it. To be fair, the staff were very busy, but I was not pleased to be denied those valuable 25 minutes which could have been spent perusing the isles of my favorite store!
All in all the restaurant was great, and I would rate it 8/10 lollcakes. Ferret and Pistol are keen to go back when they have more room in their stomachs!
La Grande Bouffe
Shops 1 & 2
758 Darling Street, Rozelle NSW 2039
T: 9818-4333 F: 9810 5025
Open 7 days, Breakfast from 7.30am, Lunch from 12pm, Dinner Tuesday – Saturday nights from 6.30pm.