French food, like French style, French parenting, and the collective French BMI has a mysterious allure. Thankfully, unlike other Frenchy-cool styles of behaviour, you do not need to know the secrets of the perfect croque monsieur or croissant to be able to enjoy one.
Is it any wonder we’re head over heels for French cuisine in all its glorious pastry filled, butter smothered, confit’d iterations?
Brisbane is home to some top-notch French restaurants and cafes, serving up all the best French dishes—and then some. If you can make it through this list of French dishes you should have eaten in Brisbane without letting out a throaty ‘ooh la la’, you’re stronger than some.
- Embrace your inner desperado Francophile by diving headfirst into a bowl of coffee at Chouquette, paired with a plain old pain au chocolat, preferably dipped in to the coffee for max French-ness. Look at you.
- Ahhh, foie gras. Hard to pronounce without sounding like a douche, but nether-the-less a winning French dish worth hunting down. Boucher serves its version with brioche and port jelly.
- Steak frites is a French bistro favourite. The Apo offers two-for-one steak frites on a Tuesday, which is mighty decent of them.
- The raclette special at Greenglass will stop your heart in the best possible way (and possibly the not so great way, too).
- The French are famous for their tartes, and we’re not talking about Bridgette Bardot. Montrachet’s caramelised onion tart with rosemary praline, sheep's milk curd, celeriac, and apple vinegar is a fine example.
- Start the day with the hearty, decadently cheesy croque monsieur at The Cheese Pleaser.
- Madame Rogue is a Brisbane bistro dedicated to all things edibly Française. Kick off with the escargot in garlic butter, then move on to the coq au vin with lardons, mushrooms, and Paris mash. Mon dieu!
- Aria’s apple tarte tatin with apple sorbet is a modern take on a classic French dessert.
- Nothing says dedication to cultural immersion than a plate of raw meat. The steak tartare served with yolk and potato skin at Public is a pretty perfect dish, in our opinion.
- French restaurant, Privé249, is très fancy (technical French term) and does the kind of perfect Crème Brûlée you’d expect from such an establishment.
- Crepes are everything. We’re all about the fresh crepes with blueberries crème fraîche and citrus caramel at Boucher.
- Get a kick out of deflating the goat’s cheese soufflé at Madame Rogue.
- Go all out with the steak frites at Les Bubbles, which comes heaped with bottomless frites. Yes, you heard right, the frites have no end. Sacrebleu!
- The quiche lorraine at Crust & Co is a classic.
- The Le Normandine Tartine at Vieille Branche: sourdough topped with leg ham, gruyere and home-made apple jam.
- Embrace those French Wintery feels at Pearl with their confit chicken leg with colcannon, sugar loaf and red wine jus at Pearl.
- Soupe à l’ongion (French onion soup, duh), served with gruyere and croutons at Madame Rogue.
- The oh-so French tomato tartine at Greenhaus Coffee.
- Chouquette’s Millefeuille—puff pastry layered with vanilla crème—verges on life changing. Hold me.
- French meatloaf is a thing and you need to get on board. The veal terrine at Vieille Branche is the perfect example. Served with a side of cornichons, of course.
- If we could inject parfait intravenously, we could. The duck and cognac parfait with orange and brioche at Montrachet is epic.
C'etait magnifique! But, if you've now a food baby the size of Paris, here's a few leisurly walks to walk it off.
Image credit: Hayley Williamson