My 90 year old mother expressed a desire to dine at a French restaurant. She has been a profoundly deaf person since she was 4 years old after contracting whooping cough in 1920's Sydney. I was a little apprehensive taking my elderly mother to Bistro Meme as restaurants can be noisy places if there are wooden floors and bare walls, particularly for the hearing impaired. She has high expectations and can be picky with service and fresh food. Mum is a tough critic that even Matt Preston would quiver under his cravat.
We were fortunate to get a car space directly outside so there wouldn't be a long walk to this bistro. I hoped this was a good omen for my mother to arrive in a relaxed frame of mind. Bistro Meme is a bright, spacious and inviting place, particularly on this beautiful blue-sky day. I asked the waiter for a quiet table explaining my mother's hearing difficulties. He gave us two choices. We sat at a table indoors that had a lovely view to the outdoor terrace and fountain.
On the other side of this airy restaurant was a gorgeous alcove of green foliage. While I admired the beauty of this recess, I was astonished by the presence of a rather odd creature positioned front and centre demanding attention. A hefty sized pig.
I enquired with the waiter the significance of the pig. He said that in French culture, "everything in the pig can be eaten". He said the pig's name is David. I was amused that a simple name could be given to a swine.
After perusing the menu, Mum was the first to order. She practiced her high school French on the waiters, much to the amusement of them and us. She ordered Barramundi with Pureed Carrot and Pomegranate. She later admitted she should have ordered something more French but she does like her seafood.
As a side dish, Pommes Lyonnaise was ordered by mum. These were baby potatoes sliced and drizzled in oil with a scattering of herbs. I was about to order the same side dish but the waiter advised that one Pommes Lyonnaise would be sufficient for two people. I appreciated his opinion. During our meal, we both commented that these dishes were magnifique. Dessert was next.
Mum chose the Peach Creme Brulee and I ordered the Mango and Lime Souffle with Blueberry Compote. Mum's was the standout dessert. Lovely chunks of peach and a marvellous crunch when digging into the topping. Superbe.
I also ordered the Petit Four de Meme to take home admitting to the waiter that I am a rather greedy dessert addict. The Petit Fours consisted of 8 divine mini cakes and slices – nougat, brownie, biscuit and lemon madeleine.
The waiters were exceptional towards mum because of her particular needs. She requires people to face her and speak slowly when addressing her. Though she is 98% deaf, mum has an amazing ability to lip-read, so one cannot escape her judgement if one voices an inappropriate phrase – or two.
Bistro Meme is a sister to another outstanding French restaurant La Grande Bouffe at Rozelle. I have eaten at La Grande Bouffe several times and have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. With their indoor/outdoor eating area and large windows, La Grande Bouffe restaurant is also an inviting place to dine.