Bouillon l’Entrecote

Jackie McMillan
11th Jun 2023

A crisp white apron is tightly wrapped around the slim hips of a scurrying waiter. Perhaps it is the watchful eyes of the legendary French chef, Paul Bocuse, depicted on a painting hanging on Bouillon l’Entrecote’s back wall that sees the all-male floor team move so efficiently. We’re seated upstairs within reach of a bowl of fresh Manjimup truffles ($25/5 grams) and a honeycomb frame where Malfroy’s honey is being slowly extracted. Just behind it is a cheese trolley, and a shiny meat slicer with hanging legs of jamon dangling in their own special fridge. With a glass of the powerful 2020 BK Wines ‘Swaby’ Chardonnay ($85/bottle) in hand, you have all the makings of a bacchanalian feast: your only problem will be choosing.

La Saint Jacques ($32) is a perfectly formed flaky pastry tart smeared with punchy onion jam then topped with three small seared scallops and a piped mound of foie gras mousse. Less beautiful, but no less delicious, le crab façon Thermidor ($28) layers warm crab meat, mushroom duxelles and béchamel. It’s surrounded by an intense lobster bisque and warrants ordering sourdough baguette ($10) to mop up every last skerrick. 

It’s clearly been too long since I’ve eaten traditional French cuisine, which is no doubt further improved by the upmarket bouillon setting. Even the frites ($12) had me cooing with pleasure over their crisp oil-free texture and amped potato skin-on flavour. Actually I did a lot of cooing over the twee illustrated menu, the patterned side plates, and the little duck table-talker advertising pinot noir. We didn’t buy the wine, but I do credit it with us ordering duck two-ways. Canard a l’orange ($42) presented crisp confit leg with potato puree, sautéed spinach and a zesty orange sauce. Magret ($45) sees tender pink slices of breast meat drizzled with honey thyme jus arranged next to a golden quartet of pommes duchesse. It was impossible to name a favourite. Portions are predicated on a multi-course meal, but rich enough to mean it can just be two… well unless you *need* crepes Suzette.