Jackie McMillan
23rd Jun 2024

Made for the midweek, when you want a simple well-executed plate of food and a single glass of wine, Bistronomie replaces Khānaa in Surry Hills. The latter survived just 6 months, but owner Opel Khan has plans afoot to revive the avant Bengali concept in the CBD. This new and simpler one-page French bistro model will also roll out in the Potts Point site of his (also-defunct) Métisse. Bistronomie doesn’t quite meet the chef’s Good Food promise (29 April 2024) of all mains coming in under thirty bucks (only one does) so it will be interesting to see how the area responds in the face of ever-increasing cost-of-living pressure. 

We started with French onion soup ($18) kindly split between two bowls for ease-of-sharing. It’s not in the popular cheesy toast-topped style (gratinée des Halles) so you might want to throw in a baguette ($5/person). Save some for the steak tartare ($25) - the diced steak to cracker ratio falls way short - but the savoury flavour is good with a heavy burst of Worcestershire and a tingle of chilli. Both suit a Beaujolais with backbone - Chateau de Varennes Beaujolais Villages ($15/glass) - plucked from the 8-strong wine selection, where no bottle comes in over seventy bucks. 

Look to the slightly-petrochemical Castelli Estate The Sum Riesling ($15) from the Great Southern to accompany the fish of the day ($42). It’ll allow you to appreciate the subtlety of the light and frothy lemon beurre blanc against crisp-skinned salmon and still-crisp winter greens. Your go-to for these cold winter nights is the dark and sticky beef bourguignon ($38) where the tender beef cheeks nestle against creamy purée de pomme de terre. Tangy dressing on the mixed leaves ($10) stops it all from being too much. The space itself is warm and pleasant to be in, with a sculptural art centrepiece and a back-lit breeze block bar. Small touches of luxury from the former fine diner remain, like Aesop products in the loos.