Philippe, Collins st Melbourne

Restaurant Review. I know you all love them!!! Strap yourself for a French food adventure! 😂

So last week we went to Philippe restaurant for our wedding anniversary. I couldn’t have picked a better place!

Philippe Mouchel, the owner, is arguably one of the best French trained chefs in Melbourne. He was trained by legendary Paul Bocuse, the only chef to receive 3 Michelin stars for over 40 consecutive years. Philippe was entrusted to open Paul Bocuse’s restaurant in Tokyo and later in Melbourne. After years of going back to Japan and having his bistro at Southbank riverside, he finally opened his restaurant in Paris end of Collins street (pun intended!😂). His focus on going back to French cuisine basics, freshest ingredients and getting those things right.

The very first impression we got was the amazing looking steaks presented on display. We knew what we would be getting!!!

The atmosphere was elegant, classy and sophisticated. Definitely dress up going there, however am sure you will still be treated with outmost respect and attention regardless, it’s just the vibe I got from staff.

Talking of staff, they added even more French feel to the place. All but the one girl were males, looking stunning in their crispy white shirts and waist coats. Service was attentive and prompt.

The main focus point of the restaurant is the open kitchen lined with shiny copper pots, which was fascinating to watch during their service, how everything works like clockwork. Think Masterchef or Hells Kitchen without yelling or drama, just zen, efficiency, amazing skills and great teamwork.

Now to the food, I know you can’t wait for it!!! All pictures are at the bottom of the post.

Admittedly we have got greedy and ordered too much!!! 😂 But with the menu like that who can blame us!!

We ordered: quail and foie gras parfait, traditional pâté, roasted bone marrow (by 2, as none of us was prepared to share that!😂), escargots 🐌, beef tartare – those just entrees!😂 And two steaks with French fries for main. You can see that if gluttony is a real sin, we will be burning in hell for eternity!

🐓 Lovely touch was whipped herbed butter that came with our bread. My pet hate is hard butter in restaurants. This one was as fluffy as cloud!!

🐓Quail and foie gras parfait with red currant and ginger orange jam and toasted brioche:
The texture of parfait was as silky as foie gras I had in France. Flavours of the jam were perfect with it as was the brioche. Carb conscious, I thought, wow, that’s a big piece, and before I knew it, I ate it all!! 😂 And the smell of the parfait slightly melting in the warm toasty brioche was just intoxicating!

🐓On to “Pâté croûte, pork, chicken, venison, pistachios”:
Croûte means cooked in pastry, the traditional way. It’s called pâté, but I would describe it more of a terrine of all of those ingredients. I walked past this awesome looking pastry “house” in the kitchen window thinking what the hell is that? And that’s exactly what it was! 😂 I didn’t eat the pastry, after I have devoured big chunk of brioche just before but the actual pâté was delicious. Different textures and individual flavours all coming as one in each mouthful.

🐓Roasted bone marrow, of which we ordered 2 as sharing it was out of the question 😂:
Those were just pillows of fatty deliciousness!!! Evan just inhaled his as it was, I did needed a little salt and pepper to cut through fat, however both of us would have licked the half bone it was served in if it wasn’t most likely be frowned upon at those elegant settings! 😂

🐓Wagyu beef tartare, pomegranate, Pommery mustard, horseradish, and of course egg yolk:
One thing to note in relation to staff that really impressed me, was that originally we ordered large serving of it, but after taking all our orders, our waiter came back to us and said he made it small, as we still have steaks ahead of us. Glad he did, as we couldn’t even finish the small portion!! Just shows once again the professionalism and caring for your customers rather than just taking the money. 
Anyway, the “small” serving was still quite substantial. When all ingredients are mixed together, flavours just play on your tongue! Can’t really argue with those classic combinations when it’s done well. I loved the chunckyness of meat pieces and you could just smell how fresh it was.

🐓 Escargots “en coquilles” (in shells), garlic & parsley butter and croûtons:
The funniest thing about it was that I was admiring how perfect and shiny the shells were only to realise they are ceramic snail shells!! 😂😂 Garlic parsley butter was spot on. We only had small serving of 6 escargots and it was more than enough. By that time we have asked to remove the bread basket, wish we kept it to soak up all that garlic butter deliciousness. But then again, we probably would have just got even fuller!! 😂

🐓And finally steaks. Evan had eye fillet and I had wagyu. And of course Parmesan and rosemary fries (make sure to get those!!) You can see eye fillet on display in the top picture (on the right of the display). SOOO bloody pretty!!! My wagye was sitting wrapped on the other shelf, so was coming kind of incognito 😂. Both were medium rare. And when we heard the description of one of the sauces – Bercy: bone marrow, butter and Chardonnay – both of us said “hell yes” to that!!!

Eye fillet came out perfect, one of the best we have ever tried! And that sauce was perfect with it. Those light coloured chunks on the steaks in photos are actual bone marrow pieces that just disappear in your mouth. Mmmmmm…

My wagyu was cooked perfectly, and I could taste the melting in mouth marbling, but.. Due to the fact of me already being so full AND my choice of the sauce – very fatty bone marrow based one on top of quite fatty meat, it was a bit of a fat overload. I physically couldn’t finish it. 😢 It would have been perfect with Bernaise or Pepper sauce. I left about $20 worth of steak on my plate 😂🤦‍♀️. Don’t make my mistake!!

And Fries were amazing!!

No deserts as you can imagine.

Next time we go there we will get maybe just 1, max 2 entrees, I really want to try their whole roasted duck that looked spectacular coming out of the kitchen and wagyu again with a different sauce.

Also our sitting was supposed to finish at 8.30, we didn’t leave till 9.15. Our waiter assured us we are good, so didn’t need to rush.

It was a very special evening. We enjoyed every single thing about this place. Totally recommend to try!

Post written, Nov 17th 2017, Published here Jan 9th, 2019.

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