Recently, I raved about the beautiful cakes at La Renaissance Patisserie, so it comes as no surprise that I got just a little bit excited upon finding out that a new French bistro had opened down the road, which was run by the same people as La Renaissance. I promptly booked myself and Sir D in for dinner and headed out one balmy evening to the shiny new glass building in The Rocks that is Baroque Bistro.
Of course, I had done my research before arriving and had perused the online menu at length to decide what we wanted to order. But all of that went out the window when I saw the blackboard specials for the day. There was bouillabaisse, and confit pork, and the desserts! This was going to be a difficult choice indeed.
In the end we settled for two mains and two desserts, since the restaurant's connection to La Renaissance surely meant that they did their sweets well. While we were waiting for the food to arrive, we spotted people carrying out large boxes of Achachas from the adjoining bar area. One man overheard me mentioning the Achacha and kindly offered to give us one each to taste! Upon piercing the orange skin, a white flesh was revealed which tasted mostly sweet with a little bit of sourness. We were told that the fruit was similar to mangosteen, but having never tasted mangosteen before I can only liken it a lychee, albeit with an entirely different texture.
Ocean trout fillet, carrot puree - $24
The ocean trout was divine with the fish being cooked to perfection, producing a soft, just-cooked piece of fish. The carrot puree was smooth and creamy, and it was so good I was tempted to take the whole plate and lick it clean!
Bouillabaisse (blackboard special) - $25
The bouillabaisse came with prawns, squid and pieces of John Dory. Although the prawns were slightly overcooked, the squid and fish were perfectly tender. The rich seafood broth was heady with the smell of the ocean and tasted particularly of prawns. Sir D found the broth a bit too fishy but I loved it and appreciated the small bucket of bread which was brought out to mop up all the broth.
Rouille and croutons (comes with bouillabaisse)
Accompanying the bouillabaisse were some croutons and garlic rouille which were crunchy and very moreish.
Breton shortbread with apple and nougatine, apple coulis - $15
The breton shortbread dessert with apple and nougatine was a marriage of caramel and apple flavours. The nougatine in the foreground resembled a florentine minus the chocolate and the fruit, and was earth shatteringly crunchy - a nice contrast to the gooey caramel and soft apples. The two caramel sticks were topped with gold leaf and were deliciously melty and paired well with the apple and shortbread crumbs. I was so tempted to lick this plate clean as well, the caramel slick on the plate had just the right balance of sweetness and bitterness.
Peach coulis, fresh peach, peach granita, mandarine champagne, creme de fromage blanc, pop rocks - $16
The peach dessert was almost the complete opposite of the previous dessert - cool, refreshing with some pop rocks thrown in for some fun! The dish arrived with a spoonful of pop rocks on the side, and we sprinkled them over the coulis where they started crackling away. The dessert was wickedly peachy with the inside of the peach having been hollowed out and stuffed with the granita and the fromage blanc which tasted like yoghurt. This one is definitely for your inner child, I was having so much fun just putting the coulis + pop rocks in my mouth and letting them snap and crackle on my tongue heehee.
We left the restaurant feeling not too poor and quite satisfied. I was reasonably full but Sir D was contemplating getting a late night snack on the way home. The portions were quite small so if you're a big eater you might need a second dinner ;) but don't miss out on the desserts - they were definitely the star of the show!
Baroque Bistro Patisserie
88 George Street
The Rocks NSW 2000
Ph: +61 2 9241 4811
Open 7 days, 8am - midnight
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