The 5 best French restaurants in Australia

The 5 best French restaurants in Australia

Gallic gastronomy

Site: Anna McClelland

Whether you're in it for the escargot or the divine gateaux, these are the ultimate destinations for Francophile foodies

We may be a good 24-hour flight from Paris, but thankfully, you don't have to drop $2K plus on airfares to sample authentic French cuisine. Our sunny shores have attracted talented French chefs and sommeliers in droves, and the crème de la crème have opened must-try bistros reminiscent of the flavours of their home towns, be that Paris or Provence. Here's our state-by-state guide to the finest French food down under. Indulge, and don't worry - French women don't get fat, remember?

1. Ananas Bar & Brasserie, Sydney
Adjacent to The Argyle in the Rocks awaits a slice of the heady decadence of 1920s Paris. Make yourself comfortable in a leather booth and admire the quirky French art on the walls as you sip champagne (the real thing, bien-sûr) and dine on classic French dishes with a contemporary twist. Ananas is open for lunch, dinner and late night suppers (so European!) and has an extensive wine list of French and Australian drops. Our must try? The Black Swan dessert - chocolate and hazelnut tart with Frangelico caramel sauce and milk chocolate ice-cream. 

2. Bistro Guillaume, Perth
French favourites abound at this upmarket bistro, overlooking the luxe outdoor pool at The Crown. Bistro Guillaume follows in the same tradition as its one-hatted sister restaurant in Melbourne, serving delectable French classics - there's chocolate soufflé on the dessert menu, just saying - that draw on Western Australia's superb seafood and fresh produce.




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3. Bistro Dom, Adelaide
Chef Duncan Welgemoed trained under Heston Blumenthal and Gordon Ramsay before setting up his contemporary French bistro in Adelaide, Bistro Dom. He uses French-inspired techniques to create thoroughly contemporary dishes, often made using locally foraged flowers, herbs and berries. Take the Hay Valley lamb rump with pomme mousseline, slippery jack mushroom and spearmint and the smoked beef tartare with snails, cucumber, quail egg and celeriac as cases in point. Wash the lot down with French bubbles or boutique local wine - it is South Australia, after all. 


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4. France- Soir, Melbourne
Tiny, authentic and always buzzing, France-Soir is arguably Melbourne's best bistro. Established in 1986 by two Frenchmen, Jean-Paul Prunetti and Yvon Vogel, France-Soir dishes up a hearty French feed until midnight, with three duck dishes on the menu (try the duck à l'orange) and sweet classics like tarte tatin. Many of the waiters speak French.


5. Remi De Provence, Tasmania
Owned by French master sommelier Remi Bancal, whose resume is sprinkled with prestigious Parisian establishments like The Ritz, Remi de Provence showcases the cuisine of its owner's hometown. Try the coq au vin made with rooster as per Provençal tradition and allow plenty of time to peruse Bancal's standout selection of wines at the adjacent Fine Wine Centre. There's also an amazing cheese selection to take away.


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