A La Bouffe Bar & Bistro – 268 Toorak Rd South Yarra – VIC

Posted: January 4, 2015 in Food and wine
Tags: , , , , ,


I love French food. I love to cook it, I love to read about it, I love to watch people cooking it and talking about it on TV, it’s a cuisine the just resonates with me. Particularly the provincial-style cuisine – French peasant food. God I love butter, cream, duck fat, wine and garlic and all those good things that go into French cooking. I find it pretty difficult to pass up an opportunity to gorge myself on a good confit duck or a tasty cassoulet… So when my Step Mum, Penny texted to say that she would be in town from her quick trip over to look after Granny in New Zealand, and suggested that we all catch up at A La Bouffe in Toorak for dinner – well, lets just say that I didn’t need any convincing. I’ve been to A La Bouffe a few times now and always enjoyed their approach. The menu is a collection of the classics, with a few interesting twists – generally executed exceptionally well, and the service is always friendly yet professional – not pretentious. Overall I feel they have the balance just right here. Generally I’ll start with the French onion soup, order one of the classic peasant style dishes or of course some form of Duck confit matched to a nice Côtes-Du-Rhône or Burgundy… I might even finish with their delicious tarte tatin. Of course, that’s if it’s not 40 degrees Celsius. The problem I faced on the last trip was that none of the usual food sounded appealing considering it was so bloody hot. I mean, Hell probably would have been a few degrees cooler on the day we met up. Opening the door of the car to walk to the restaurant was like opening the door to an oven.

Katie and I arrived early, and even though the restaurant is air conditioned, it’s hard to cool off completely – I sort of felt sick from being so hot all day. Looking though the menu, none of my usual French favourites really appealed. I was certainly not in the mood for soup. After much discussion and some refreshing beverages, I decided to opt for the steak. Jo, Penny and Taz had joined us by this stage and Jo had suggested the Eye Filet steak with Béarnaise. Since I love Béarnaise, this seemed like an appropriate choice. I ordered my steak medium rare and it came perfectly cooked, a really simple approach to the meat, no seasoning other than the necessary salt and pepper. The Béarnaise was amazing. There something about the buttery tarragon richness that I just love with steak. I don’t know why I don’t have it more often… Oh, that’s right – you either have to make it fresh yourself which isn’t all that easy, or find a restaurant that offers it – which is increasingly difficult… Jo felt that she could have done with a little more sauce, but then she was slathering it all over her steak – I felt there was more than enough. The lightly dressed green salad on the side was refreshing and the dressing tangy and bowl of French fries as always the perfect accompaniment.

Jo and I both decided to order Crêpes Suzette for dessert, I love the sauce and the theatre of the Flambé at the table. On this occasion though it felt a little more dangerous than usual. I almost felt like the waiter could just take the dish outside and wait for it to spontaneously combust in the heat!

Oh no - my dessert is on fire - oh wait - it's supposed to be...

Oh no – my dessert is on fire – oh wait – it’s supposed to be… That’s totally ok then.

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed their meals and the waitstaff were fun and friendly. I’d highly recommend A La Bouffe Bar & Bistro if you want good quality, and great tasting French cuisine.


A La Bouffe Bar & Bistro on Urbanspoon

  1. Jacky says:

    Thank you for the great review.

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