From the outside you wouldn’t know it was a restaurant as it seems like a cute little house on the corner, surrounded by perfect hedges and emanating a warm glow from the inside through their paneled windows.

Once you step inside the charming French restaurant you notice it’s decorated with a provincial feel with rustic terracotta tiles, raw exposed timber support beams and a courtyard towards the back. We were at once transported back to Provence but without the lavender fields and tack accordian music that everyone associates with Paris. We were seated at table 75 by cute little French windows adorned with lighted candles which yielded a romantic aura. Although the restaurant was quite busy, our waiter was very attentive, answered any questions we had and we were well taken care of by her for the rest of the night.

La Grillade - Crows Nest, Sydney

For entrees we opted to share half a dozen of oysters served with apple mignonette and cucumber sorbet – refreshing and clean as well as the twice baked spanner crab soufflé with shellfish and saffron reduction. Both entrees were absolutely amazing. I was a bit worried it would be too creamy making me too full for my main course but it was so subtle with chunks of crab, fluffy and airy soufflé which rose well above the ramekin – it was perfect.

La Grillade - Crows Nest, Sydney

For my main I ordered a 7+ marbling Tagima Wagyu flat iron 250g with pommes frites and café de paris butter. Gary decided to go for the rolled Riverina lamb breast with Jerusalem artichoke puree, carrot and celeriac dauphinoise. I have never had a steak so good – it was orgasm inducing and just to die for; cooked and charred  to perfection, well rested  and oh so tender  it required no energy to cut.

La Grillade - Crows Nest, Sydney

Disappointments du jour was firstly the café de paris butter which was salted with an extra heavy hand. Next defendant your honor, is Rolled Riverina Lamb Breast which emitted an aroma that was how can I say, eau de dog food fresh from the can. Charged with trying to enter a French restaurant using a fake I.D which states it is a Rolled Lamb, yet evidence suggest it is nothing more than a suburban meat loaf. This was an open and shut case. We also ordered a side of broccolini with garlic butter which were fresh and cooked so that they’re still crisp – just the way we like it.

La Grillade - Crows Nest, Sydney

For dessert, we settled to share the raspberry mille feuille served with orange blossom, crème fraiche ice cream. Whilst waiting, we concocted images of crème  pâtissière sandwiched between flaky layers of pastry in our heads. The dessert came as a deconstructed mille feuille consisting of only a single thin slice of unflaky pastry and the crème  pâtissière piped in a squiggle lacked the smooth silky consistency of custard instead it was more thick, glunky and firm. The orange blossom, crème fraiche ice cream added a nice refreshing touch and actually cleansed our palates from the sticky gummy feel left behind by the crème pâtissière.

The restaurant itself is charming, cosy and intimate without it being pretentious. The atmosphere was great with tables buzzing and the service was attentive but the food was just inconsistent.

Contact: La Grillade – 118 Alexander Street, Crows Nest NSW 2065. Ph. 02 9439 3707. Website. Facebook. Instagram.

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Angela is a service standards advocate with an airline background proudly endorsing Peranakan food and culture. Find her Tweets @servicefeedback

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