L'étoile (again!), 26 Aug 2009

When occasions such as my birthday or our anniversary swing around, I jokingly suggest to Monsieur Poisson that it is the perfect opportunity for him to cook me a meal. He, being almost incapable of cooking, usually manages to weasel his way out of culinary expression by finding a nice place to treat me to dinner instead. To this day, I have yet to sample any of his cooking that is beyond instant noodles or steamed rice (from an electric cooker).

So after hassling him for the better part of the day about what our dinner plans were to be, Monsieur Poisson finally revealed he had made a reservation at L’étoile. This was no mean feat as Manu Feildel’s bistro has become markedly more difficult to obtain a table reservation since we were last there, and especially for weekends, since his involvement with Masterchef. To say I was excited was an understatement and I could hardly contain myself as I dolled-up for the occasion.

We have booked for a relatively early start to dinner and arrive to an almost empty restaurant. We are seated at a cosy table at one of the front corners of the bistro, looking out onto the front of the converted terrace house and Glenmore Road. Having sat at the back courtyard the previous time, I am most happy with this arrangement as it allows for a great view of the cream and red notes of the interior. I hear French music from years gone by playing in the background until a middle-aged lady seated later than us requests its volume to be lowered. This is a superfluous move as within the next half hour the bistro fills with diners and their happy chatter drowns out the music anyway.

Although there is only the two of us dining this time around, we receive a complimentary basket of crusty baguette pieces that is equivalent in size to that when we dined as a group of five. The bread smells wonderfully fresh and the extra pieces come in quite handy for our entrée.

We order an entrée to share, which is a ‘Choucroute with bacon, seared scallop, vongole and beurre blanc’ and comes with a potato alongside. Choucroute being a French version of sauerkraut is quite mild in its tartness and is balanced well by the saltiness of bacon. The scallop has excellent colouring through being seared, whilst retaining a soft smoothness right in the centre. The vongole are medium-sized, meaty and its shells are great for scooping up small amounts of beurre blanc. We can’t get enough of this sauce and mop up the plate with some of the extra bread from before.

Monsieur Poisson orders the ‘Boeuf du Bucher’ which now comes with a Roquefort sauce. The butcher’s cut of beef on this occasion is Wagyu skirt steak with a mildly pungent blue cheese sauce and potato croquettes on the side. It is very rich and filling.

I choose the ‘Truite aux Amandes’ which is a pan-fried rainbow trout with almond butterTwo skin-on fillets of rainbow trout have been fried crisp and given a generous scattering of toasted flaked almonds. The sauce is light in texture but does get greasy on the palate towards the end.

But nothing that a complimentary palate cleanser cannot fix! This time it’s a champagne and watermelon sorbet to ready us for dessert.

We can only fit in one dessert between the two of us and choose the ‘Apple Tarte Tatin’ based on our fond memories of the ‘Pear Tarte Tatin’. It is a different season with a different fruit but the tart is still as impressive with its lightly toffeed edges and tender, caramelised fruit. And let’s not forget that quenelle of crème fraîche sitting on top.

Throughout the evening we spot Monsieur Feildel in casual gear socialising with some of the diners. I secretly hope that he will introduce himself to our table but it appears he is only greeting people that he actually knows. *SIGH!* I live in hope that it may happen another time, as I know I will be back again.

211 Glenmore Rd, Paddington NSW
Tel: (02) 9332 1577

Opening Hours:  Mon-Thurs  6pm-11pm (dinner only)
                        Fri-Sun  12pm-3pm (lunch)
                                    6pm-11pm (dinner)

L'Etoile on Urbanspoon

happy eating!

LATEST UPDATE: L’étoile scored 15/20 in The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide 2010, earning its first Chef’s Hat Award.


  1. Ahh we almost went here a a while back but went to Sepia instead. The food looks great and worth putting back on the list to visit! :)

  2. The food looks amazing, especially that fat scallop in the entree! I loved Manu on Masterchef - he was my favourite celebrity chef ;)

  3. Yes, that Manu is one hot dish!

  4. I was only here yesterday but for an afternoon tea so great to hear about your dinner. The pear tartin sounds fantastic and Manu in the dining room? Lucky you! Next time I wouldn't be afraid to ask the waitstaff to send him to your table so you can personally thank him. You'd be surprised :)

  5. We all drool over Manu! The food looks really authentic and I think you got a good table position, too. Definitely a win!

  6. Sounds like the dinner out at L'etoile was WAY better than Monsieur Poisson cooking you instant noodles! :P

    It sounds like a fabulous dinner and the blue cheese sauce on the wagyu is making me so hungry!!

  7. Everyone's going to L'etoile! I just missed out on yesterday's teagustation but mygoodness the place and food looks magnificent!

  8. Hey Lorraine, go, go! =p After two great visits, I can confidently recommend it.

    Hi Jacq! Yes, that scallop...but everything else combined as well =)

    Hi Reemski! Thanks for stopping by =D Mmmm, Manu...please allow me to hyperventilate for a little!

    Hey Helen, Manu was in the kitchen the other time I was there and I didn't want to disturb him like another blubbering girl did. Need...to...exert...poise =p

    Hi Rilsta! Thanks for dropping in =D Manu over instant noodles any day! Haha.

    Hey Trisha, it's wonderful if you like French food. Try it - you won't be disappointed!


Thanks for leaving a comment!


Related Posts with Thumbnails