Thursday, 4 September 2008


527 Crown St
Surry Hills, NSW 2010, Australia
+61 2 9319 5682

Six months on from head chef Jacob Brown's departure, Tabou still manages to draw a full room on a Wednesday night, giving much testament to the fact that new chef Alisdair McKenna has managed to tread that fine line between keeping the regulars happy and shaking things up a little.

For those of you who want to experience Paris within Sydney city limits, you'll find it here in this cosy little bistro with its lacy curtains, black glossy front door and sexy bistro atmosphere. And the food, of course. You'll find snails, steak, frites, pate and poisson in deliciously authentic abundance.

Those who know and love Tabou will be really happy to know that 'ye olde favourites' such as the twice baked gruyere souffle and le steak with requisite accouterments still exist, but new life has been breathed into the old menu via some real winners like the Salad D'escargots (Salad of sauteed snails,veal tongue, bacon and witlof) - a party of plump snails, tender veal tongue and bitter witlof was a great combination of rich'n meaty and fresh'n crisp.

The Chicken Liver Parfait served with a cherry reduction and a generous serving of croute was deliciously light and yet densly rich in flavour. It's a notorious entree to ruin a 3 course meal, so it's much better shared amongst two or three people if you can't resist the call of the parfait. Cast all guilty fears about diets and carbs, this ain't doing wonders for the hips, but boy is it delish.

Our mains arrive with adequate time to make peace with our entrees and the Confit de la Canard looks perfectly done, golden and crisp on the outside and meltingly tender on the inside. Unfortunately a little salty for my taste, the texture was perfect nevertheless. The steak with chips and salad was decadently draped in a golden Cafe de Paris butter, and satisfyingly well cooked. And by well cooked, I mean a perfect (slightly less than) medium rare. Pink, juicy and toothsomely tasty, this is a study in how steak should be.

Great french wine, excellent food, company and conversation - the only thing missing was my beret!