Antoine’s Grill, Concord (Guest Review)

Written by a Guest Reviewer for Napoli Restaurant Alert

Antoine’s Grill – a true taste of France in the Inner West! Antoine has worked alongside the renowned chef Alan Ducasse at La Cour Jardin in Paris and at one stage appointed private chef to the House of Roederer Cristal Champagne. (Locally, he has worked with Luke Mangan and Serge Dansereau at Bather’s Pavilion.) After the offshore stint, Antoine decided to return with his family to Australia and open up in Concord where his partner Sam grew up.

It’s a warm and intimate space with an unmistakable Gallic feel, full by 7.30pm on a weeknight, the warmth accentuated by our enthusiastic waitstaff, Thomas and Helene. After amiably talking through the dishes, we begin with melt-in-the-mouth Sydney Rock Oysters with French red wine eshaIlot, and a smokey Champagne mornay.

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Next onto Yarra Valley goat cheese pannacotta, fig, beetroot, caramelized honey & port glaze. Such an elegantly presented entrée. Beautifully textured and a lovely flavour combination; but a toasted brioche or wafer would have been a nice addition.

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Spanner crab soufflé, watercress, walnut, galangal scented emulsion – exceptional! The crab and galangal danced on the palate and we were surprised by the generous amount of crab in the soufflé. The accompanying salad was refreshing and beautifully light.

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Quail filled with roasted mushroom, foie gras, spring onion & parsley root puree, cassis jus. The filling is delicious and the cassis jus together with the parsley root puree is just superb adding a lovely sweetness that just lifts the dish straight away. A fabulous follow on to our entrée’s.

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Signature 500 day grain fed Wagyu Steak. When ordering this dish my husband was presented with a box set of Laguiole steak knives to choose from – a first in the countless number of restaurants we’ve visited around the world. This Wagyu steak was fall-apart-tender – a juicy, flavoursome main course. The accompaniments we chose – Warm roasted eggplant, with fire tomato & parsley and the French peas with mint, basil & roasted almond relish worked really well with both the quail and steak. I also tried the Roasted carrots, marjoram with herb scented sour cream and Steakhouse chips on my first visit and would also highly recommend them as sides.

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Then onto dessert. Café Gourmand – chocolate vanilla profiterole, Baileys scented crème brulee, chocolate velvet fondant and miniature lemon tart. We really enjoyed this, a set of miniatures of the desserts featured on the menu. It definitely pressed all the right buttons.

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Callebaut chocolate velvet fondant, Grand Marnier sauce, minatured iced “magnum”, nougatine dust. A rich and decandent dessert. Loved the flavours, loved the textures, loved the dish – full stop! What a spectacular finish to our menu. The richness and smoothness of the fondant together with the Grand Marnier sauce and the beautifully nutty textured “magnum” – Antoine absolutely nailed it!

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In summary – it was a decandent, polished and precise 4 course meal at a reasonable price. We will definitely be back. Next time we will bring our children along. I was quite impressed by Antoine’s kids menu. First time I’ve come across a menu that features “real” food for children – grilled salmon, barramundi or steak – no chicken nuggets or fish fingers in sight!

Bon appetit!

Antoine’s Grill, Shop 1, 112 Majors Bay Road, Concord Ph (02) 9743 3354

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