This is French food paradise is located at the quieter end of Darling Street Rozelle. Welcome to La Grande Bouffe. La Grand Bouffe is a French restaurant that has stood the test of time in Rozelle. Owners David and Meredith Poirier with head chef Robert Hodgson clearly know what they're doing.
A homely feel is enjoyed with simple, tasteful decor. The decorations are minimal, appropriate and inviting. The traditional wood fire place is present, and a variety of delicious French pastries are there for the taking on a mantle piece right near the entrance. This is where you can also help yourself to a newspaper or two during your dining experience.
Simple, refined, homely and relaxed bistro like setting. Sit near the fireplace, that way you're in your own world away from the hustle and bustle of the open plan coffee machine and front counter area. As beautiful as this area also is, when it gets busy, the pace is frantic. Come here after 8:30am on a Saturday morning, La Grande Bouffe is almost as busy as any other Rozelle cafe on the more laid back Southern end of Darling Street as you're heading towards Lilyfield.
A caffeine hit was a great way to start the weekend, and a latte ($3.50) with one sweetener hit the spot. Beautiful crema with rich coffee flavours. This coffee was well roasted. The baristas are well trained here. An all male staff with traditional European aprons and shirts made way for a professional, yet laid back French breakfast experience. It was different to see a latte served in a white (as opposed to a clear) glass. The white cup and saucer combination blended in nicely with the chocolate brown decor.
The treat began as my Traditional French Toast with Pear, Walnuts and Maple syrup ($15) arrived on my table. A beautifully presented dish that may come across as a bit too much at first sight, however once you take your first bite into your first slice of heaven, you forget about the abundance of walnuts. Walnuts with have maple syrup never tasted so good.
My French toast was piping hot when as I took my first few bites. All awesome, and this is how you want it to be. Beautifully coated and tasty pears ensured that this dish wasn't too sweet. Despite a number of sweet items, the dish was a far cry from being a dessert. Rather a Saturday morning breakfast indulgence at that. An indulgence without much of the guilt.
Needless to say, my order did not take long to prepare despite this French fusion being quite busy. Alex provided great customer service. He felt a little bit too overqualified for the role having just finished his postgraduate degree in International Studies, but he is passionate about his work. It also showed in the coffee he brewed for me. I took my time in devouring my last slice of French toast before it was time to pay my bill and say 'au revoir' for now. Merci La Grande Bouffe.