Top 5 French

When I think of French food, I think of traditional Parisian bistros and casual country restaurants serving simple classics, rather than Michelin-starred temples of gastronomy. French cuisine isn’t as well represented in Sydney as it should be … but there are a few great places that transport me straight back to Paris, like these five.


St Claude’s Woollahra
I love tradition, like the double baked cheese soufflé that’s been here for over 40 years through five owners and, on my last visit, was on the $68 prixe fixe with steak café de Paris and crème caramel. Classic, pared back, yet cosy – this institution is in great hands.


Restaurant Hubert Sydney
Step down the curving wood-panelled staircase and back in time, into a subterranean cellar with live music, soft candlelight and closely packed tables of diners enjoying le petit aioli, escargot with a modern touch of XO butter, chicken fricassee with green garlic and excellent crème caramel. Great wine list too!


Bistro Papillon Sydney
A cosy, dark brown room with simple wooden tables and warm service sets the scene for classics, from escargots and onion soup to boeuf Bourguignon. But I’m here for tarte flambée, a simply delicious specialty of Alsace, thin dough topped with crème frâiche, onion and speck!


Bistro Guillaume Sydney
Guillaume’s bistro walks the line between the luxury of his earlier fine diners and the simplicity of a classic bistro. I love house-cured salmon with brioche, steak tartare with pomme gaufrettes, steak frites with Bernaise, and soufflé with Roquefort sauce. But I dream about the tarte fine with cinnamon ice cream!


Métisse Potts Point
Métisse (mixed) may refer to French chef Opel Khan and his Aussie wife Julia, or to the menu’s mix of classic (hand-cut beef tartare) and modern (duck à l’orange terrine). Regardless, the great value degustation menu is a hit with locals and visitors alike.