The in-house restaurant of the newly built Sofitel Hotel in Adelaide, Garcon Bleu specialises in offering delicious French cuisine. Diners who visit during lunchtime can order a set menu consisting of two or three courses of their choice, which comes with their selected side dish and drink.
I had a three-course lunch of Roasted Squid (entree), Beef Cheek (main), Charred Broccolini (side dish) and Veliche Chocolate Gateaux (dessert). My parents went for two-course lunches consisting of Pork Cutlet, Trio of Mushrooms and Spiced Poached Pear and Grilled SA King Prawns, Green Leafy Salad and Paris Brest.
Garcon Bleu's Pork Cutlet was cooked just right and the Armagnac sauce imparted a delectable savoury taste to the dish. Prunes added a bit of sweetness and the pommes puree, the French version of mashed potatoes, had a smooth texture and complemented the pork nicely with its creaminess.
Pork Cutlet (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
The Beef Cheek was tender enough to be easily cut with a spoon and the bordelaise sauce gave the dish a rich savoury flavour. Lardons, fried pieces of pork fat, provided a bit of crunch and verjus sauce imparted a hint of tanginess. Like the Pork Cutlet, this dish came with a serving of pommes puree. Its creaminess was a good balance to the rich taste of the beef cheek.
Beef Cheek (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
We liked that the prawns in the Grilled SA King Prawns main were of a generous size and cooked sufficiently to give them a nice char. Macadamia puree and fermented capsicum partnered wonderfully with the prawns. While the dish included chilli sauce, the degree of spiciness was not intense. Crispy kale scattered over the dish gave the dish a fresh appearance.
Grilled SA King Prawns (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Their Roasted Squid was tender and had a lovely degree of charred flavour. The charred broccolini had a bit of bite and mussels added a bit of saltiness. The squid was served on squid ink sauce, whose black colour provided a good contrast to the squid.
Roasted Squid (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
The portion size of the side dishes was quite generous. The Trio of Mushrooms consisted of button mushrooms, sliced Swiss Brown and enoki mushrooms. All the mushrooms had a delectable earthy flavour and the crispy enoki mushrooms was a good contrast to other soft mushrooms. We were also able to taste the rosemary that was used to flavour the mushrooms.
Trio of Mushrooms (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
The Charred Broccolini side dish was cooked perfectly and a generous sprinkling of toasted flaked almonds added a lovely crunchy element to the dish. The broccolini was dressed with EVO (extra virgin olive oil), which in addition to lifting its flavour ensured the dish was not too dry.
Charred Broccolini (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
The citrus flavour of the sweet lemon dressing in the Green Leafy Salad was quite subtle, allowing the flavour of the various leafy greens to shine through. Its clean flavour made it a good foil to the stronger tasting entrée and main dishes on their menu.
Green Leafy Salad (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
The chocolate flavour of the Veliche Chocolate Gateaux was quite rich and its texture was similar to chocolate fudge. Topping the gateaux were wafer-like biscuits that had a delightful malted taste to them. The gateaux was at its best enjoyed with the raspberry sorbet and couli whose tartness helped to cut through its rich flavour.
Veliche Chocolate Gateaux (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
For a dessert option that is not as rich, there is the Spiced Poached Pear. The poached pear still retained a bit of bite and was not too sweet. Some contrast was provided by the crushed sable breto, which had a taste that we thought was similar to gingerbread. While not mentioned on the menu, the dish also came with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Spiced Poached Pear (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Paris Brest is a French dessert consisting of choux pastry in a wheel shape filled with flavoured cream. The pastry that formed a key part of the dish had a very light and flaky texture. The caramelised milk cream was not too sweet and was balanced by creameaux made from Woodside goat's yoghurt. Also included in the filling were slices of peaches that added a bit of tartness to the dish.
Paris Brest (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
The décor of the restaurant gave it a comfortable feel and a sense of spaciousness, and the tables were spaced a good distance apart. Diners that choose to sit near the windows can enjoy a great view of the surrounding Adelaide CBD.