Sunday, 19 January 2014

Bistro Guillaume

Happy birthday RN!

Tonight we had a cosy birthday celebration for RN at Bistro Guillaume.  This was my second time there and I did not go with much expectations because it was so average the first time, but, I thought I'll give them a second chance but more importantly my two pregnant girlfriends were able to have most of the dishes on the menu.

Bistro Guillaume being situated at The Crown complex is one of those restaurants you need to book. On a Saturday night they do two seatings, one at 5:30pm but you need to leave by 8pm and the other at 8:30pm but you can stay until they close. We opted the 8:30pm session.

I was the first to arrive as usual and was seated by a not so happy maitre d who also appeared to be the manager. She asked me whether I wanted any water and the usual still or sparkling. RN arrived shortly after but we were sat for a good 10 - 15 minutes before the water actually arrived.

We decided on our order soon after DT arrived but it was a mission finding a wait staff to take our order. I was hangry and I also had two pregnant women who were hungry. We eventually got hold of a wait staff to take our order, he was polite, not overly friendly and spoke so softly we could barely hear him as it was quite noisy but he did the job.

Our order

Onion Soup $18
West Australian Whole Marron 'Out of the Shell' with Cafe de Paris butter $38
Escargot en Persillade $25


Linguini with Spanner Crab, Garlic, Chilli and Tomatoes $38
Rangers Valley Sirloin (300 Day Grain Fed), Crispy Kipfler Potatoes, Watercress Salad and Bearnaise Sauce $44
Rack of Lamb on a Bed of Ratatouille, Tapenade and Zucchini Flower $40


Crispy Confit of Potatoes with Bacon, Garlic and Parsley $12

What's a birthday celebration without celebratory drinks? We all had mocktails (party!) to celebrate this momentous occasion.
Food and presentation - 3/5
The food at Bistro Guillaume once again did not impress and we actually had to return RN's pasta because it was so ridiculously salty but before I get to that, we'll start with entrees.

RN ordered onion soup which was presented in the traditional French way but the soup was a bit too sweet for m and I've had much better onion soup in France and in Australia. DT's escargots were nice but nothing special, just your stock standard parsley, garlic and herb sauce. My marron was quite nice and I have to say I did enjoy every morsel of it, the marron was nice and fresh and the sauce that accompanied the dish wasn't so overpowering that it took away from the natural sweet taste of the marron.

Onion Soup $18
West Australian Whole Marron 'Out of Shell' with Cafe de Paris butter $38
Escargot en Persillade $25
For mains, let's start off with the good. DT's lamb was nice and tender and the ratatouille complimented the dish, the only thing that worried me was that we asked for the lamb to be well done because DT is pregnant but that instruction was not followed and the lamb was a bit pink. 
Rack of Lamb on a Bed of Ratatouille, Tapenade and Zucchini Flower $40

I didn't like the texture of my steak (so that is my problem I guess...?) and it was really fatty, the potatoes were really dry and the watercress salad was just not my cup of tea and was simply just watercress. 
Rangers Valley Sirloin (300 Day Grain Fed), Crispy Kipfler Potatoes, Watercress Salad and Bearnaise Sauce $44

Now to the bad, the birthday girl ordered the linguini with spanner crab, after a few bits she asked DT and I to try it and tell her if it was just her or whether it was just really salty. We decided that it was really salty and all three of us like our salty foods so it must've been ridiculously salty. The manager happened to be hovering around our table at that time so we explained the issue and asked for a new dish. The manager was apologetic and told us it won't take long and she kept her word. RN had a fresh, new plate of pasta within 10 minutes and it was not salty, although I have to say I've had better spanner crab linguini elsewhere. 

Linguini with Spanner Crab, Garlic, Chilli and Tomatoes $38

I guess I better mention our side of potatoes which were dry and nothing to rave about. 
Crispy Confit of Potatoes with Bacon, Garlic and Parsley $12

We were too full for dessert and nothing took our fancy so we called it a night.

Service - 2.5/5

For prices paid and the fact that it is in the Crown complex you would expect better service but the service was pretty dismal. It wasn't awful, just not at the expected level. Now let me give you some examples, (1) it took 10-15 minutes before we had water on our table, (2) no one came to take our order and it took a lot of effort to get the attention of a wait staff to take our order, (3) the wait staff looked unhappy and they did not smile even when speaking to us but they were polite and (4) no one checked in on us (except once as detailed below). I could go on but these were my pet peeves. I have to say I was happy with how the manager dealt with us returning the pasta, she apologised and checked with us shortly after to make sure the new dish was acceptable. She also suggested that we take our group photo on the beautiful green lounge at the entrance when we asked if she could take a photo of us at the table as we were about to leave.

Atmosphere and decor - 3.5/5

I don't think they thought much about acoustic design because it was pretty loud in there and I found myself shouting across the table to be heard. Not sure about the atmosphere, the patrons all appeared to be happy but I thought the wait staff dampened the mood a bit. 

Just an observation and maybe I'm just being picky but there is a confusion as to whether this restaurant is a bistro or a fine dining restaurant and this confusion is caused by the prices charged and the staff uniforms. Some wait staff had a nice shirt and pants on while other staff had Lacoste polo t-shirts on which looked quite tired and not very professional, even a little bit sloppy. Maybe they need to reassess the type of restaurant they want to be because it didn't quite all gel together for me. 

The beautiful decor does make up for the imperfections and the green theme really worked for me not only because it is my favourite colour but because it was done with class and sophistication. 


Value for money - 2/5
Too expensive for what it is. 

This is the second Bistro Guillaume in Australia with the first being in Melbourne. I haven't been to the one is Melbourne but I sure hope that it's better than the one here in Perth because I'm pretty sure I won't be coming back to the one in Perth anytime soon.

Taste Test Total Score 11/20

Address: Crown Perth, Great Eastern Highway, Burswood WA 6100
Telephone: (08) 9362 7551
Reservations: Yes

Opening times
Monday and Tuesday: 5:30pm - late
Wednesday to Sunday: 12pm - late

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