Gone are the bakers with their trays like always. No longer is it the same old bread and rolls they sell! Brisbane’s French cuisine scene has gone from strength to strength in recent years, and the arrival of 2018’s French Film Festival gives us the perfect excuse to go ‘research’ (and by research, we mean devour) all the best croissants and traditional cassoulet this city has to offer.
So, before you settle in to watch Back to Burgundy or C’est La Vie!, enjoy a Parisian foodie rendezvous at any one of the French eats below.
Montrachet ǀ King Street, Bowen Hills
We don’t mean to flake, but we can’t help but drop everything just to get our hands on the crumbly goodness that is the pastries, baguettes, and brioche on offer at Montrachet Boulangerie. This newcomer to the bakery scene is on a roll, and their divine quiche Lorraine cannot be croissant. And for those after a heartier meal, you can’t go past big brother Montrachet next door for a refined French brasserie vibe.
Vieille Branche ǀ Albion
Meaning ‘the old branch’ in French, Vielle Branche is Brisbane’s very own French Farmhouse. A place that is just as fresh as it is finesse, head down to their Saturday maker’s markets for all sorts of design, arts, fashion, and handmade trinkets! Food-wise, their jazzy ‘Hot Club Sunday’s’ of endless Solange cheeseboards, wines, and beer on tap cannot be missed.
La Lune ǀ South Brisbane
Named after the moon because you’d be loony if you didn’t visit, La Lune Wine Co is a must-go for every wine aficionado and pinot noir lover. It’s wine list alone speaks for itself! Chardonnay, burgundy, gamay… and can you get any more French than champagne? Combine with one of their decadent charcuterie boards or seasoned oysters, and you have the recipe behind a perfect night.
Chouquette ǀ New Farm
‘Let them eat cake!’ they cried, and little French bakery Chouquette is more than happy to oblige. Besides serving up some of the most authentic gateaux Brisbane has on offer, they also specialise in hand-made sweet breads, pastries, and more!
Madame Rouge ǀ Fortitude Valley
As the name suggests, Madame Rouge’s handsome pork cutlet with roasted parsnip, asparagus, and apple puree, or dazzling gratinated goat cheese soufflé can make even the most serious lady blush and smile in happiness. Shall we dine there soon? Oui oui.
Margo | Paddington
Nothing will convince you that French is the language of love more than dining at Margo. With dishes like gorgeous rosemary crème brulée, lamb saddle with honey glazed carrot, and salmon citrus gravlax, one meal here will leave you saying “oo la la”.
Belle Epoque Patisserie ǀ Fortitude Valley
A delectable crème brûlée or extravagant croquembouche? To delve into a quiche or go sweet with an almond croissant instead? While the sheer number of French treats on offer can be overwhelming to choose from, at Belle, it’s impossible to macaron choice – everything is delicious! However, if you’re really struggling, we suggest their delightful chicken waldorf baguette.
Lutèce Bistro ǀ Bardon
If the honorary title ‘belle of the dinner bowl’ existed (we think it should), then the à l’oignon soup with beer, house-made duck sausage, croutons, and gruyère cheese at Lutèce Bistro would win it hands down. And thanks to Alsace-style cooking, their signature coral trout, sea scallop, and king prawn bouillabaisse is also a winning dish.
C’est Bon ǀ Woolloongabba
C’est Bon is good (literally). Buy hey, don’t just take our word for it! Try out for yourself their deliciously tender boeuf bourguignon beef cheek in burgundy red wine with roasted desiree potatoes and bacon. Just imagine it paired with a gorgeous champagne from Reims, and a soufflé for dessert! C’est la vie, mon cheri.
The French Film Festival is in Brisbane from 8 March – 4 April. Find out more details here.
Words by Jacqueline Pon – the gourmet whose new life motto is ‘Vive la French fries’