Thursday, June 30, 2011


PM24, also known as 'Philippe Mouchel at 24 Russell Street,' is a French bistro which came highly recommended by @deanyeh. We were very fortunate to have made a very last minute booking two hours before their 6pm evening opening time. Such is the popularity of this restaurant on a Sunday night, we were informed that we only had the table until 8pm! 

The moment we walked into the restaurant, we were highly impressed with the height of the ceiling, the warmth and great aroma from the open kitchen, the beautiful red rotisserie, and the salutations from an efficient and warm team of wait staff.

The ambience of this place is just fantastic, with a feeling of openess and a moderate noise level,. We were quickly greeted by Xavier, our French waiter. What to have was the hard question! From the chicken liver terrine to the seared scallops to snail in Burgundy style and French onion soup on offer just for entrées alone, I knew that it would not be easy to pick a single entrée. In the end, we settled on half a dozen of the escargot and the onion soup. Greedy, I know, but it is not often I visit Melbourne.

First up, the bread.

It was standard white, but presented warmed and inviting, in a bread 'basket'. The crust was crisp and innards super soft. The butter? Smooth and flavoursome. Better though, was the  accompanying amuse bouche spread, which was cream cheese with caper and pepper - this was really good, I had difficulty choosing between it and the butter.

Of the dishes we ordered, the escargot was the first to arrive. 

This was cooked in tomato fondue, garlic and parsley butter, and served with toasted bread. The snails were just divine, being both flavoursome and not overcooked, chewy and savoury. I could not wait to try it, only to have my tongue scorched by the super-hot temperature. But really, food this good should be enjoyed slowly, allowing time for the snails to cool. This was well-matched to a 1999 Maison LEROY Bourgogne blanc.

The Onion Soup came next – hot, comforting, mouth-watering delicious. Just the dish for that cool Melbourne Winter evening. The confit onion slowly cooked in beef stock and the gratin was almost a meal in itself with the richness of the savory butter and hearty broth. 

By this time, M and I were nearly full and yet, we had only had our entrée! 

For the main, we shared the organic Milawa chicken, cooked simply with rosemary and preserved lemon.

The skin was crispy, the flesh was juicy and succulent and despite the fact I was nearly full, I was still very impressed with this dish. The vegetables Rôtissoire were a mixture of potato, carrot, zucchini, pumpkin which had been basted with oil from the rotisserie. The chicken was matched well to our 2002 Domaine des Varoilles Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru La Romanée. This is a beautiful pinot from Cote de Nuits which exhibits great cherry taste and great balance and acidity. 

To our disappointment, we were just too full to try the desserts, as inviting as the menu was.

PM24 oozes style, sophistication, and efficiency and yet remains a warm and inviting place that I will return to, knowing there will always be a nice roast waiting to be tried.

24 Russell St.
Melbourne VIC 3000
Ph: (03) 9207 7424

lunch Sunday to Friday 12pm -3pm; dinner 7 days 6pm – late


PM24 on Urbanspoon


5pandas said...

oooh sounds gorgeous. thanks for a lovely post

kewpie said...

wow, always good to know of nice french places! i love the bread basket too! thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I want the soup and the escargot!! [AP]