Bistro Papillon
98 Clarence St
Sydney CBD

Bistro Papillon is a cosy and very traditional French restaurant that has real charm and atmosphere. It's a small place with elegant well placed decorations on shelves and the walls. It's like being in a well appointed lounge room in many ways. It's steadily gained an excellent and well deserved reputation for great food and service.

I started with tartare de boeuf. This is a favourite of mine which I also savoured in Paris earlier in the year.

This dish consisted of finely chopped raw grass fed beef fillet seasoned with a spicy mayonnaise and condiments, served with toasted baguette and green salad.  It was delicious! It comes in a main course size as well. The beef had great texture and was full of flavour - it's a great way to get your iron intake!

Mlady loved the sound of the pate de fois de volaille - in fact she loved the sound of everything that was part of this dish.

It was described in the menu as homemade chicken liver parfait with cornichons, green apple chutney and baguette.

The pate smelled "delish" and was full of flavour. The cornichons, chutney and salad set it of beautifully.

A lovely amuse bouche that everyone must try is the sorbet with vodka. It was extremely refreshing and certainly cleansed the palate! It also had a nice kick to it - and a touch of flair as well with the vodka being poured over it at the table.

We also had a lovely bottle of red from Chateau Lamothe-Vincent in Bordeaux. This 2011 blend with 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon actually went well with everything we had!

My main course was the cassoulet de canard - continuing my love affair with all things duck!

This consisted of confit of duck and pork, smoked sausage, white beans, vegetables and herbs. It had plenty of meat and it was all soooooo tender - falling off the bone (where there was a bone!).

It was packed with flavour and was a real cold night meal. 

Mlady also went with another classic French dish - coq au vin. This was described as corn fed chicken casserole cooked in red wine, speck, onion, mushrooms and thyme. It again smelled amazingly delicious and looked so appetising. This was again another great cold weather dish with the tender meat also falling off the bone!

A side serving of mixed crunchy buttered vegetables capped off both meals nicely.

We were also persuaded to try a side serving of the delicious homemade spaetzle.

It was another real comfort food that I particularly loved.

This doughy dish was like noodles or little dumplings that had been fried.

Great stuff!

My dessert was yet another classic - tarte tatin aux pommes.

This classic french apple tart is one of my favourites and this one was up there with the best. It was made with caramelized apple with rum and raisin ice cream. The rich rum and raisin ice cream went particularly well with it - or maybe that's just the rum lover in me showing through!

Mlady, after much deliberation, chose the profiteroles a la pistache. Profiteroles with pistachio ice cream and hot chocolate sauce.

To be honest I thought the inner chocoholic in Mlady would cause her to choose the richer moelleux au chocolat!

She raved about this though and certainly didn't regret choosing this dessert!

Bistro Papillon is more than just a restaurant. It reflects the passion and desire of two men who had a vision for a classic French restaurant - and who didn't stop until they got it! Xavier and Ludovic, who are both French, first met in England many years ago. Their friendship and shared passion has resulted in this lovely restaurant - Bistro Papillon. It's a great place that serves great food in a charming environment. They have also surrounded themselves with great people who also share their vision. We thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of Bistro Papillon.

Sir and Mlady dined as guests of Bistro Papillon. Special thanks to Xavier and Ludovic and also to Clement and Alex for looking after us so well on our visit.

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