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thevinoman Jul 31st, 2005 03:44 AM

French Bistro Surry Hills Sydney
Had a wonderful meal tonight at Tabou, a small French Bistro type place in Sydney, on Crown St. Surry Hills. Absolutely superb food, and nice wine list at reasonable prices. Nice atmosphere, very nice service. Bottle of excellent 2003 St. Veran Burgundy at $60. I had the twice baked Gruyere souffle, and the veal tenderloin in pastry, which were both excellent. They have about 13 tables downstairs, which is a little noisy when full, but a very nice upstairs, about 8 tables, very quiet. They do have BYO, corkage is 6 dollars. Enjoy!!

Peteralan Jul 31st, 2005 06:05 PM

Good choice vinoman ! Sounds like you are doing what you intended to! Keep up the good work and enjoy your stay. Cheers!

Bokhara Jul 31st, 2005 09:36 PM

Ok ... now ... not too far along from Tabou (same side of the street - South of Tabou) is a fabulous Vietnamese Restaurant - The Red Lantern. You'll understand the French/Indochine references in their exquisite food. Owners Pauline & Luke (Brother & sister) Nguyen use their parents' recipes and it really is something special. Not BYO, not expensive. Good wine list. Try a GSM (Pauline will give you a good recommendation - they used to have Magpie Hill(?) but have changed it)I think it's one of the few reds that manage that tricky Asian food/wine balance really well.

And ... in the small, French Bistro mode .. try Sel et Poivre, Cafe
263 Victoria St Darlinghurst 2010 (02) 9361 6530
Best snails I've ever tasted! Pretty sure they're BYO.

Peteralan Aug 1st, 2005 09:53 PM

Yes I agree about Red Lantern. It is the best Vietnamese meal I have had outside Cabramatta ( a suburb full of Vietnamese restaurants, one of which is owned by the parents of the guy who runs Red Lantern ).

Bokhara Aug 1st, 2005 11:53 PM

Hi Peter,
Did you see the write-up about the chefs today in Good Living.... and Red Lantern, Luke, Mark and Luke's parents?

Geordie Aug 2nd, 2005 01:09 AM


On UK Food satellite station (Sky Channel 145) last night they had a show called, I think 'Heat of the Kitchen.'

It was filmed in 2003 and it featured the Red Lantern as it was starting up and that it got a good review in the Sydney Good Food Guide.

They also followed the people from Restaurant Balzac who were astonished to get a Two Hats recommendation and as a result people had to wait for up to 3 months for a reservation.

It also showed the disappointment of the owners of Aria who went from 2 hats to 1.


Peteralan Aug 2nd, 2005 05:14 PM

Hi Bokhara..not sure if you know SBS has a new show starting tonight called Heat in the Kitchen, I guess it is the one Geordie is referring to. Geordie, I went to the original Balzac a couple of times and it was very good and reasonably priced. Haven't been to the new one but believe it is more expensive. Also I believe Aria has got its lost star back.

Bokhara Aug 2nd, 2005 06:45 PM

Hi Peter & Geordie,
Thanks for the tip -saw the article about the SBS programme in yesterday's SMH Good Living. Will be watching with interest. Loved the comment from Balzac chef's partner .... "move over Gordon Ramsay" re his &*#[email protected]! language. If he'd spoken to me as he reportedly did to her, he'd have worn the dish ... chef or no chef!

Have you been to Becasse, Peter? I haven't been since they moved to Edna's old place in town, but loved their old haunt in E.Sydney (parking was easy, too - what a statement for E.S.!)
And yes, Matt Moran has got his extra hat back for Aria. Had dinner there just after the last of "My Restaurant Rules" screened and it was v.good. Snappy green beans, too (LOL).


Peteralan Aug 3rd, 2005 04:33 PM

Hello Bokhara..No I haven't yet tried the new Becasse but went several times to the previous one and loved it. The service was good, as was the atmosphere and the food. Have to try the new one. Oh dear, so many restaurants and so little time!

Bokhara Aug 4th, 2005 02:37 AM

Hi Peter,
Ain't that the truth? Mind you, if I had the time to visit all of them, I probably wouldn't be able to fit through the door ;)

What did you think of the Chef's thing last night? Although they've got their 2nd hat back now, I felt for the Aria guys, and for Matthew Evans as he is a good friend of Matt Moran's - we really are such a fickle town, I think the loss of one probably could do serious damage. Ah well, I guess it's the same in lots of businesses, you can't let your guard down.
I was chuffed to see Luke, Mark & Pauline at Red Lantern just being themselves - and Mr. Nguyen "going in every week or so to check up on them"!
I must ask the name of Mr & Mrs Nguyen's Cabramatta restaurant next time I'm in. Do you know it?

I went to Cabramatta markets last year and would really like to go back with someone who could explain all the goodies in the green grocers. The meats were sensational - bought some wonderful cuts of pork and veal(at a fraction of the price we pay here).

I'm off to NY next week and SO looking forward to exploring some of their restaurants, markets etc.

Going to the Growers Market at Pyrmont on Saturday with some friend from Orange who are involved with the Orange Food week & keen to have a look.
Would be fun to catch up with the Vinoman if he's around. Who knows, we might teach him how to make emu cassoulet & gourmet damper :)

Peteralan Aug 4th, 2005 05:14 PM

Hi Bokhara..would you believe I missed the show as I was at a restaurant (!!).Sorry I don't know the name of the Cabramatta restaurant.As far as your comment about the Cabramatta markets, I'm sure I've read somewhere there is someone who runs group visits and explains everything re the products, style of cooking etc but I just can't think at the moment who it is. A Polish born woman I know always buys her meat from Asian butchers and she reckons it is better quality than what we are used to and cheaper. I am green with envy about your upcoming trip to NYC. I have been planning to do the same but plans keep getting thwarted. Let us know how it goes, where you stayed, ate etc. I fancy dividing a stay between Greenwich Village and Upper West day!Have a great holiday! Cheers!

thevinoman Aug 5th, 2005 03:16 AM

Hi Bokhara,sent you email, but don't know if I got the address right. I will check this board early Sat morning just in case. You can let me know where I could meet you. Take care. Thanks.

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