Paradoxe Restaurant Crows Nest
Dear readers, I would like to bring to your attention a wonderful French restaurant in Sydney’s beautiful Crow’s Nest. The restaurant in question is named “Paradoxe” and a paradox indeed it is. It’s a place you would easily drive past during the day-time over and over again and not notice. At night the charming lights of the restaurant draw a bit more attention to its façade but only to make you wonder if you’ve arrived at the right place. However, don’t allow the exterior to draw your conclusions as the food, service, décor and Chef Michel (who I met and conversed with on the night – very nice man) with his 20 plus years of experience is there to please.
Paradoxe Restaurant is set in an understated but lovely corner terrace with shabby chic provincial style décor within. When you enter the restaurant you immediately feel as though you’ve walked into someone’s cosy dining room in the heart of Provence. The walls are a light salmon pink and there are lovely impressionist paintings by the same person (an ex chef we were told who donated it to the restaurant) on them. The tables are set heavily but prettily with crystal glasses and French themed decorated plates. Menus rest above the plates sweetly rolled up and tied with a ribbon above each plate waiting to be mysteriously unravelled.
The amazing aroma of food embraced us as we are escorted to our table situated in the back room of the restaurant. The dining back area is quaint and cosy providing us the intimacy and privacy we desired. The mood is light and comforting with soft French music playing in the background. As I sing along to the tune of Edith Piaf’s La Vie En Rose the notion of the paradox becomes more apparent.
Everything on the set menu is desirable and tempting. Chef Michel ensures that the menu offers those classic French dishes you want to eat and perhaps desperately crave from the time you enjoyed it in France. Ingredients are purchased daily with care from local markets (very French indeed) so the freshest flavours are interpreted into the dishes. You must try the ‘escargots au beuree’, ‘Tasmanian scallops’ that glisten in their garlic chive sauce, ‘Green king prawn’, ‘Champignons Parisiens’ sautéed with fresh herbs take you straight back to Provence, ‘Lamb shank in tomato, capsicums, jus aux herbes’, ‘Grilled duckling magret in port sauce’ & perfectly ‘grilled tenderloin’ with the most beautiful Bearnaise sauce” so luscious and devine would make the finest Michelin Star restaurants in Paris proud.
The mains come with steamed veg and crunchy potatoes as sides to share. Desserts are delectable – crème brulee, mango with minted chocolate ice cream, Pear and fig poached in black current juice and the Caramelised warm apple tart with caramel ice cream that absorbs right into your soul – amazing! The meal also includes a mid-course fruit sorbet palate cleanser – a lovely and thoughtful touch to the dining experience.
From the moment we arrived the service was lovely and attentive. The French experience made more wonderful and authentic with French waiters possessing mesmerising French accents that add to the je ne sais quoi charm that’s so endearing. A run- down of a menu sounds more delightful when spoken in a French accent I think and I often enjoy requesting a repeat run down just so I can enjoy the accent all over again. My friends and I were well looked after and attended to without being interrupted or hurried and our waitress always ensured that we had enough table water and time between courses which is highly welcoming and professional.
All in all a wonderful experience that will leave an amazing impression without breaking the budget as it is very well priced and BYO. This French restaurant is Paradoxical but one that leaves you smiling for days and reminiscing about that heavenly tenderloin with a delectable béarnaise sauce and dreamy desserts transporting you back in time to that bistro you adored in Provence. It’s also lovely to see a chef interacting with his diners and seeing Chef Michel delighting in a conversation with some of his regular diners was quite endearing. The regular diners here have been returning for years and are a testimony to the restaurant’s consistent quality and authenticity. This is a must return experience pour moi and I can’t wait to book another dinner here soon. Dear readers, are you entranced by Paradoxe Restaurant inspired by France?
98 Falcon Street, Crows Nest
(02) 9956 8898