Le Pub
66 King St (cnr York St)
Sydney CBD

The idea an underground French den with good French food in the Sydney CBD was certainly appealing so finding out about Le Pub was very welcome.

Once you venture underground you discover a whole new world there. This is the brainchild of Angela Gallagher the Group General Manager of Gallagher Hotels and it only opened in October 2012.

Its origin flowed from the success of the Le Bistro and Uncorked at the Union Hotel in North Sydney. The menu here is again the great work of Ronny Ghantous.

The atmosphere is great. It's a lively place that has managed to accommodate both a pleasant restaurant and a busy and buzzing bar (with the petit menu on offer) in separate areas so that they each have their own space and identity. Whilst its a lively place it still manages a kind of old world feel to it - like stepping back in time. The tables are nicely spaced out and there are plenty of cosy nooks as well.

 We were eating at the restaurant part (Le Pub) and started with the charcuterie. It's something two people could easily share as an entree between them. It was huge and it was delicious.

First there was the home made duck rillette served in a tin. Don't fret - it's not tinned duck (or sardines) - its just served in this for effect. Then there's the pork parfait that was so light and delicate. The Parisian saucisson, a thick French salami like sausage, was so tasty. We also had condiments of red pepper relish and mixed pickled vegetables (tiny onions, carrot, cauliflower and red cabbage). I have to admit we finished every bit of both of these. Of course there was the remoulade - a tangy coleslaw like sauce with cabbage mixed through it. Finally there were breads served with this feast and a pile of baby cornichons (gherkins). We devoured everything and loved it all - this was a really great starter!

It's pretty hard to eat French without having snails - at least for me! So seeing the Escargots de Bourgogne on the menu ensured another entree - even though we really didn't need it. 

They were described on the menu as snails, garlic and fresh herb butter and baguette. 

They were delicate. I know its hard to imagine snails like this - but they really were! The garlic and herbs were actually quite subtle and the snails weren't drowning in them. 

They were extremely good!  The toasted baguette slices went nicely as well. 

I love duck. I mean I really love it! So the confit de canard a lórange was always my choice even before we arrived.

It was described as confit of duck leg, sauteed spring vegetables, fois gras, dehydrated mandarin segments (which were fantastic) and jus.

This duck was devine too! It was better prepared and more tender than the duck I had in Paris a few weeks earlier - and that's a big call.

Mlady had the 2012 Bakers Association Winning Pie. As pies are such an iconic item in Australia winning an award in this space is a big deal.

The pie au boeuf bourguignon was huge and amazing - it had a real wow factor for its appearance which carried through into the taste and flavours.

It consisted of slowly braised beef with mushrooms, lardons (basically pork fat but don't let this put you off as it adds great flavour), red wine and crispy puff pastry and came with a side of creamy Paris mash.

The pastry was so light and fluffy too and the Paris mash went well with the dish. We also had a side of legumes vert - greens!

Legumes Verts

Then there was dessert - and yet again the wow factor was in abundance. Mlady had the bonbons et petit fours. She was expecting a small plate of goodies but what arrived was a huge impressive platter that was presented nicely as well.

This is an extremely understated menu item  - simply described as French lollies and petit fours. What arrived though was amazing. The chocolates were delicious with plenty there and quite a range too. The bonbons were also great. Don't be fooled by the menu!

The tarte au chocolat cacahuete sounded great. Who doesn't like some chocolate to end a meal!

It was a chocolate and peanut brittle tart, chocolate soil and magic gold dust - at least that's what the menu said.

All I know was that it was sweet, full of flavour and delicious.

I was surprised that Mlady hadn't ordered this as she is usually the resident chocaholic but she was to full.

I'd have this again in a flash.

Le Pub was really good. If you expect every day quality food or presentation then you're in for a big surprise. It's far better than this! The decor is great too - a lot of thought has gone in to this place. You can even play hunt-a-word with the lettered tiles on the walls - and of course they are French words. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal - and the impressive wine list was an added bonus.

Sir and Mlady dined as guests of Angela Gallagher and Le Pub. Special thanks to Will Roach of Red Agency for co-ordinating our visit and also to Alex for the great service on the night.

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