Treat 36: The one where Joey speaks French

So I have spoken about my talent of reciting movie quotes and song lyrics incorrectly but there is one minor exception…I can quote Friends quite accurately because of the hundred billion times I have watched the show. It’s not surprising that in my daily life there will be a moment where I think of something that happened in Friends that relates to the situation I am in. Today’s treat is an example. The new Bistro Guillaume opened at Crown Perth and I was excited. I have a not so secret crush on Guillaume Brahimi, the chef behind this new restaurant. Actually it’s a family crush shared with my mum, aunty and cousins. I was lucky to meet him at the Good Food Guide awards night at Print Hall a couple weeks ago and he touched my arm. It’s like that Simpson’s moment when Bart falls for his new next-door neighbour/baby sitter Laura who jokingly reads Bart’s palm and tells him that he’s going to be rich except the swimming pool in his house is empty. She asks if she wants the pool to be full so she spits on his hand and Bart says he’s never going to wash his hand again. So yes when Guillaume touched my arm that’s what I thought of except you will be glad to know I have since washed it. Now that was way off topic and I haven’t got to the moment that reminds me of the Friends opens episode, the one where Joey speaks French. I also haven’t uttered one sentence about food. Let’s begin. On this Friday night the cousins and I had just feasted on ribs, fried chicken and chilli fries at the Merrywell and were tossing up having French or a thirty cent cone. In order to make a decision we paper, rock, scissored it. My cousin Nen was French and I was thirty but I lost out after three rounds so off to Bistro Guillaume we went (for once in my life I didn’t do a Monica I was happy to lose). Arriving to the beautiful lime green décor, chequered black and white floors and pretty light fixtures we decided to sit in the cold outside. Bistro Guillaume without doubt has the best view than other Crown Perth restaurants as it overlooks the pool area. We decided to warm up with a chai latte, flat white and peppermint tea while we shared a dessert, the riz au lait with poached rhubarb and strawberry sorbet. The riz au lait reminded us of a Lebanese dessert, riz b-haleeb aka rice pudding. The main difference is the proportion…the Khouri family size is a generous sized ramekin while the Guillaume version was a large plate with a tiny shallow hole in the middle which fit about five spoonfuls of the rice pudding mixture. Now it makes sense why French women are so skinny, their portion sizes are tiny. The main drawcard for this dessert for my cousin Nen was the poached rhubarb but the five strips that were on the plate did not satisfy. The best feature of the dessert was the strawberry sorbet despite the chill in the air we enjoyed the zingy and refreshing taste. So this dessert was disappointing to say the least but it didn’t stop me from visiting my mate Guillaume the next night for Neha’s birthday surprise. After an amazing vegetarian meal at The Prophet (see Treat 35) it was time to feast on French desserts. I wanted to take my French speaking friend Neha here for a proper meal but unfortunately the French aren’t vegetarian friendly in contrast to the abundant vegetarian options at The Prophet. So we made do with dessert…yes I know life can be hard sometimes. After some oohing and ahhing we decided on sampling the Petit Fours and then conformed to all getting the chocolate soufflé. In the Petit Fours we enjoyed a tropical jelly, pistachio macaron, salted caramel, chocolate truffle and a Madeleine biscuit. My favourite was the salted caramel (no surprises there see Treat 33) for its chewy sweet goodness. The tropical jelly had mixed reviews. I was a fan of the soft gooey texture and its fruity punch. The macaron lacked the pistachio flavour it should have but in terms of texture it was spot on. My friend Kristen made a good point, usually petit fours are complimentary at fine dining restaurants not that the $5 will break the bank but it is a valid observation. Now let’s talk about the star dessert, the chocolate soufflé. I always forget what a soufflé is mainly because I don’t eat it often. I was thinking of a chocolate moelleux, which is like a self-saucing pudding or lava cake so when you crack into the cake, chocolate sauces oozes out. Guillaume’s neighbour, Nobu does a cracking lava cake, they Japanesefy it by putting it in a bento box and adding green tea ice cream to break the richness of the chocolate. A chocolate soufflé on the other hand is lighter in texture, almost mousse/meringue like thanks to egg whites and sugar folded into chocolate. However, the light texture will fool you because it is still a rich dessert. The waiters recommend putting the pistachio ice cream scoop into the pudding, which we all did. It’s all about breaking up the richness as I quickly found myself induced into a food coma. More than anything I love the whole experience at Guillaume from the Lacoste wearing French speaking waiters, the lovely décor and plating as well as the delicious desserts (except the riz au lait). The table next to us had the shared lamb dish with the smell wafting over making me hungry again. I think I found the cure for a food coma…more food! I can’t wait to see my friend Guillaume again and try the savoury options. Now that we finally spoke about the food I can tell you about the Friends moment. I did not realise but I have been saying Guillaume’s name wrong this whole time. Apparently it is pronounced Gi – yum but I keep saying Gua-lim but I don’t realise this. Even when I’m thinking I’m saying Gi-yum I’m actually saying out loud Gua-lim. No matter how many times Neha tried to explain it to me I kept reverting back to Gua-lim. It reminds me of the episode when Joey has on his CV that he speaks French fluently but obviously he doesn’t when Phoebe tries to teach him. Je m’appelle Claude becomes blah blah Claude. Don’t worry Joey I’ll be there for you, cause you’re there for me too.

THE FOOD JOURNEY

Can you tell I have the iPhone3? Yes it’s about time I get with technology. I actually have an old Nokia that has a flashlight, maybe if I use that as a flash when I take photos with my iPhone3…or I could just invest in the iPhone 5. Anyway there wasn’t much to see or eat in the riz au lait so opt for the chocolate souffle instead.

Is it really petit fours when you get five items? The answer is yes…petit fours is French for small oven and are small confectionary eaten at the end of the meal. So you can have your cake and it too and then have your petit fours.

C’est très magnifique = it’s very magnificent.
P.S. Happy Birthday Neha!

THE DESTINATION
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