Sunday, May 18, 2008

Frenchy's Bistro - Birthday Dinner 3

I had already celebrated more than enough at dinner 1 and dinner 2, but it's an excuse to try a fancy restaurant. Due to a logistical mix up, birthday dinner 3 was 10 days after my actual birthday. We decided to try Frenchy's Bistro in Glen Waverley.

When you enter Frenchy's, there's sort of a front desk with lots of bottles of wines on it. The restaurant is decorated in either an old fashioned French restaurant or is a parody of a French restaurant. They had all the fun paintings or French chefs, those funny wine bottle holders, old style lights and other 80s things. I liked it, it was all a bit of fun I thought.

We were seated at a table against the wall looking out through the other patrons to the glass restaurant window. The chairs, as mentioned on numerous restaurant review websites, are wooden ones and not the most comfortable. They had butcher's paper over the tables. That's a bit tacky I thought. I thought only Chinese restaurants did that, especially at yum cha.

After ordering wine, the waiter brought iced water as well, without us having to ask. The waiters, as I noticed, were mature gents. You don't usually see older wait staff, generally at family run businesses only. I don't think they were all related. As long as they can do the job, I don't see why wait staff has to be young people. There is a discussion over at Tomato about what good service is and whether older people have a role. One interesting thing about the younger waiter is that he really looks like Justin Timberlake, a young Justin Timberlake in his Nsync days. Kin asked me who the waiter looked like and I got it immediately. I definitely thought there was a resemblance but Paul and Jo didn't think so.

For entrees, we ordered the Snails with bread and the Pork Belly with Scallops to share. The Snails was my favourite dish of the night. In fact, it was the only dish that was really good. The snails were done in a traditional butter and garlic sauce, with a pickled salad and bread to accompany it. The scallops were big and juicy. However, the pork belly wasn't so good. The skin wasn't crispy and it lacked flavour. It was all drowning in a lot of pea soup.

For mains, Jo and Kin both got the Roast Lamb. The lamb was cooked to perfection and was tender, but was devoid of any flavour, even the taste of lamb wasn't very strong. The beans were soft and nice, but then were immersed in this strange chilli type sauce that again didn't have much flavour.

Paul's Pepper Steak was good but not fantastic. The meat part was very good, cooked with a good charring on the outside and still pink and moist on the inside. The pepper sauce was very strong, a bit too strong I thought.

My Moreton Bay Bug special sounded fantastic on paper, but was a mess. I couldn't even taste the Moreton Bay bugs and they were completely masked by this very very salty ham. The risotto was cooked well texture wise, but the flavour was bad. It had vanilla or some other sweet flavour through it and I didn't like it at all.

Jo got the Quince Crumble for dessert. The quince was wonderfully fragrant and totally delicous. It was however, very sweet. I don't know if that is natural sweetness from the quince or a lot of sugar was added in the crumble.

Kin's Death By Ice Cream sure sounded and looked good, but was more style than substance. There was mango, hazelnut, vanilla, chocolate ice cream and a lemon sorbet. I don't know if these ice creams were hand made or just store bought. The hazelnut ice cream was the highlight.

Paul's Belgian Chocolate looked better than it tasted. The chocolate part itself was surprisingly disappointing. It was very sweet and didn't taste good. The gold foil looked very sparkly, but that was the only sparkling thing about the dish.

Finally, I was eagerly awaiting my chocolate souffle. After watching a lot of Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, I know pay a lot of attention to desserts on menus and think about whether they are mostly pre-prepared and then just finished during serving. This chocolate souffle cannot be pre-prepared in any way. Hence, the menu showed that it would take 20 minutes. It was done perfectly in terms of texture, so wonderfully light and fluffy. The chocolate flavour wasn't as strong as I thought, but was again extremely sweet like the other desserts. The sickly sweetness of all the desserts killed them all.

The one present I had to share with all you readers is my wonderful stash of Patchi chocolates. They're my favourite chocolates of all and last year I got a tree of them for my birthday. I think there is a pattern emerging here about my love for chocolates. My work mates got me Lindt chocolates that I finished. This was immediately followed by my sister getting me a big box of Koko Black chocolates, which I have finished already. And now I get a big box of Patchi chocolates to follow on with, perfect.

The food at Frenchy's was surprsingly disappointing. The dishes sounded traditional enough, but nothing was really good. Compared to other French restaurants that I have been to such as The Brasserie and Madame SouSou who also do classical French cooking, this place falls far far short. I don't think I will return here when there are similarly priced options that provide far superior food.

Service was good and personable. I liked the older wait staff who are extremely relaxed and can catch with you with ease. The atmosphere was quite good. The noise levels got really loud at one stage when the whole restaurant just seemed to be talking at the same time.

Overall Rating: 12/20, Food is ok but nothing tasted really good.

Scores: 1-9: Unacceptable, don't bother. 10-11: Just OK,some shortcomings. 12: Fair. 13: Getting there. 14: Recommended. 15: Good. 16: Really good. 17: Truly excellent. 18: An outstanding experience. 19-20:Approaching perfection, Victoria's best.

Frenchy's Bistro on Urbanspoon


  1. You fat whore!!
    It was a free meal so what the hell you bitchin' about?

  2. Well it was no Vue de Monde so this free meal wasn't that great. :-)

  3. You ungrateful swine. I hope you choke on your next dining out just a little.

  4. Well if it's free Anonymous, I don't mind choking a bit.

    Don't worry Sarah, it's my silly friend goofing around as usual. If you read the other comments throughout this blog, you will find many comments from Anonymous that are not so nice. Most of them I find extremely funny. Some, are just silly and not funny.

  5. hey thanh,
    thanks for your welcome comment on my blog :) sounds like there are more french restaurants around than i knew about! better check some of them out eh. maybe not this one though.

  6. Cathy, I remember when I first started the blog and other Melbournian bloggers welcomed me too. It was great to feel the common passion for food, so hopefully you will sense that too.

    There are so many French restaurants, with a huge list that I haven't tried but want to try. Start off with The Brasserie and you will get a sense of how good French cooking can be. Then when you work your way to Vue de Monde, well, that's just the ultimate dining experience.

  7. Oh, wow, stopping by here while I am hungry and I love your blog. This is really fun. I love your descriptions, good and bad. KC

  8. Thank you KC. I hope you keep coming back to read more posts.

    I stopped by your million dollar blog. I like the idea of tracking your journey so you force yourself to do it. I'm constantly talking about making a million but haven't done anything towards it.