You might be aware of a classy French bistro, that meanders down Middle Head Road from the back of The Buena. Nestled in behind long casement windows, the newly re-opened Bistro Mosman brings provincial-style French dining to Mosman’s leafy streets.
While the host pub, The Buena, may be all art deco styling and interiors, taking the few steps up into Bistro Mosman transports you to a French farmhouse somewhere not too far from the ocean. The interior is decked out in muted pale tones of khaki and divided into three distinct areas. Closest to the kitchen and bar is the stone dining room, dimly lit but in the heart of the action. Off to one side is the green house, with plants overflowing their pots and intimate corners to tuck away in. Finally, the main room, with its glass ceiling and shade sails has the dynamic flow of a house by the ocean. This is the setting for what is a relaxed, yet polished interpretation of French classics.
Head chef Jon Trouillet may have scaled the heights of Parisian dining, literally, as he once worked the pans at elevated Michelin-starred institution The Jules Verne in the Eiffel Tower, but for Mosman there are no acrobatics, instead each plate as it arrives is clearly taking note of the ground on which it is served.
The dishes, which shift with seasonality, embody the ethos of Bistro Mosman. The recent addition of the crab soufflé has the richness and flavour of the crab intact, however with a note of citrus throughout which lifts the flavours to a brighter tone. The steak tartare, served with delicate waffle crisps and watercress, continues this opening number. The inclusion of pickles reduces the meatiness of the raw steak, and allows for a lightness of palette.
For mains, the heritage of Bistro Mosman plays a part. Prior to re-opening Bistro Mosman was the northern offshoot of Woollahra institution Bistro Moncur. The pan-fried barramundi was a classic on the Woollahra menu and continues to be served on a bed of smashed peas. The resulting dish remains earthy but sweet. A new addition to the menu is the Cowra lamb cutlets. Garnished with a basil leaf, the fragrance of the herbs matches the sweetness that comes from the lamb’s juice. With a side of crispy green leaves, the main course was fresh yet refined.
Accompanying the meal were glasses of the 2014 Chateau Pezat Bourdeax blend. As one among many on the hefty wine list — that also includes a very creative gin and tonic section — it is an old world wine style that requires contemplation, rather than just consumption.
Finishing things off was the mango soufflé. A perfect option in the middle of summer, the airy and fluffy soufflé carries the aroma and flavour of fresh mango, which gets a reprise in accompanying mango sorbet. Tucking into all of the above while looking out on Mosman’s finest, the new iteration of French cuisine on this site encourages greater lingering, and provides for the means to return more frequently, with most mains under $40.
Without the stuffiness of Parisian-focused renditions, this is French fare that is unafraid to sing.