Shops 1 - 2
758 Darling St
Rozelle NSW 2039
Ph : +6129818 4333
Open 7 days
Breakfast from 7.30am
Lunch from 12pm.
Dinner Tuesday - Saturday from 6.30pm
The well-known 1973 film of the same name, directed by Marco Ferreri and most notably starring Marcello Mastroianni, tells the tale of four friends who gather for a weekend of eating themselves to death. Obviously, I did no such thing in the inner west environs of Rozelle, though in my younger days, I do recall eating one or two meals where I was left feeling somewhat less than inclined to eat for days aftewards. On one occasion, at the age of 15, I was only able to consume one bowl of soup for the following almost three days, and on another, consuming two massive dinners out in one night almost proved too much.
And so we come to a popular casual bistro in Rozelle, where good food is to be had, and eating more restrained.
As well as the a la carte menu, one of the options at La Grande Bouffe is the 'Menu Express', which consists of an entrée and the plat du jour for $35. This menu changes regularly.
Sautéed chicken liver with beetroot and wild roquette ($16)
Selected by a chicken liver loving diner, the liver was cooked perfectly, and still pink on the inside. The wild roquette was a good nutty counterpoint to the richness of the liver and the roasted beetroot gave it sweetness. Just a good well-rounded salad.
Pear, walnut and blue cheese salad ($14.50)
A classic combination that never fails to please the person who ordered this, and this portion was fresh, the pear firm and crunchy, and the serving generously sized. To my mind, salads like this should be generously sized, looking like a pile of freshness that you just want to launch into, not a lonely looking motley assortment of ingredients.
Salad of beans, frisée, potatoes, lardon (Menu Express)
Again a very generously sized salad serving, this was fairly filling, with a decent amount of lardon and the unexpected potatoes, which tasted basically like sliced fried potato. That's a good thing. As a light lunch, this could easily satisfy as a stand alone option.
Flank steak with pomme puree and balsamico jus, mushrooms (Menu Express)
The first main was sliced flank steak, piled with a variety of mushrooms, and atop mash. The beef was tender and juicy but I would have preferred it to be slightly more on the pink side.The puree was smooth, creamy, and perfect for soaking up the jus.
Blue cheese and leek soufflé ($16)
For the blue cheese fiend, a main containing the same. She clearly likes this soufflé, as she ordered it again on a subsequent visit.
Peas with braised onions ($8)
Peas are not normally something that I order as a side, but these came recommended by one of my companions. I was somewhat dubious. Why am I ordering peas and onions? I was pleasantly surprised. They aren't half bad. Unexpectedly flavoursome and enjoyable, though $8 does seem a little steep for peas and onions.
Pomme Frites ($8)
Requirements for fries are really quite simple - not too salty, piping hot, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and actually tasting of potato. Extras such as rosemary are a bonus. This huge bowl of fries satisfied these criteria competently, and were best eaten when coated in the sauce from the flank steak.
Sour cherry clafoutis with vanilla ice cream
It doesn't look like a clafoutis, does it? It was rather confusing, when it appeared, as it looked almost like a tarte of some description. Nevertheless, a very thin clafoutis it was, and deemed a success and quite delicious by she who ordered it. I suppose that if you ordered this expecting the thicker more 'baked' cake looking version, you'd be somewhat surprised.
Selection of Handmade Petit Fours
The petit four were solid enough but none stood out in particular. The fudgey chocolate brownie-like cubes were not too sweet, though they had a slight layer of condensation on them (the, heat reacting with them post storage, I'm assuming) the mini friands fresh and moist.
La Grand Bouffe is a very popular restaurant, especially for weekend breakfasts. The three of us who were there on this occasion have since returned for a subsequent visit. It is a comfortable place, with wonderful sprays of water during Summer from what Singaporeans call "outdoor air conditioning" for those sitting outdoors. The service was slightly variable during a our second visit, but the food here is reliably satisfying and the 'Menu Express' good value.