A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of going with my friend Jes to Bistro Lilly, to enjoy a five course degustation in the CBD, she had bought the meal off one of those coupon/deal websites and it also included a bottle of wine. I had never heard of the restaurant and wasn’t quite sure what to expect but the menu did sound really good, and had a strong French influence. I knew a big meal was going to occur, so I limited my food intake during the day to ensure I could fit everything in.

The meal started with an amuse bouche (to excite the taste buds and prepare you for the meal), a small roasted capsicum soup with creme fraiche and chives. Sorry for the ‘no show’ photo but we gulped them down before I had time to take out the camera.

To start off, the first course was sourdough bread with whole roasted garlic and organic cultured butter. The rolls were two different types of sourdough one white and one brown. I’m not the biggest fan of garlic, so I applied it sparingly on my roll, the butter was really nice and creamy though. Overall the first course was nothing too special.

The king crab and brandade (emulsion of salt cod and olive oil) cannelloni with tomato relish and lobster cream was course number two. The cannelloni filling had a very nice flavour, I was expecting it to be extremely salty due to the cod, but the flavours were well balanced. The texture of the filling was pureed and a bit too mushy; I would of preferred flakes of the crab instead mixed in with the brandade.

Next course was the truffled duck liver pate with spiced beetroot, port jelly and toasted brioche. I have never been a true fan of pate and have only tried it a few times at friend’s places (not a common fridge item in my household). It was quite strong in flavour and even with the extra toasted brioche served with the meal, there was no way I was eating that much of it. Thank god for the port jelly as it really broke up the flavour and added a little sweetness to each bite.

This last savoury course my friends..was amazing!. It was a 120 day aged grain fed beef fillet with foi gras ravioli, fondant carrot, sauteed spinach and bordelaise (sauce made from dry red wine, bone marrow, butter, shallots and a demi glace). The meal was even heavier then the previous pate course, but the flavour and textures from the foi gras ravioli with the meat and the sauce was spot on.

Nothing beats a little sweetness after a meal (four meals in this case). Fullness was a thing of the past, and after having one spoonful of this dessert you would have to be crazy not to finish it off. The main piece was a Belgian chocolate fondant pudding with ganache, honey ice cream and toffee. Once you cut open the fondant and the lava like chocolate oozes out you are honestly in sweet heaven. Without a doubt, this was a perfect dessert to end the meal.

Overall our degustation started off quite average, and ended nicely. The atmosphere of the restaurant is quiet, with many of the diners coming straight from work. The service was very efficient and the waiters were very polite throughout the evening.

Bistro Lilly

Observatory Tower, 168 Kent Street, Sydney

Ph: 9252 1116

Website: www.bistrolilly.com.au