The night calls for something special. Be it an anniversary, a family get-together, or someone is just damn hungry: The French Brasserie is perfect for that occasion.
Let's get the obvious out of the way first: yes, it's French. No, it's not cheap. What did you expect?
Now the disclaimer is done with, let's get serious. For those still with us, read on. You may find yourself seriously taken with this hidden Melbourne gem.
The first thing to grab you when you wander in is not the high ceilings, the slightly industrial feel, the smell of St. Jacques wafting from the kitchen. More than likely, the first thing to grab you will be the manager. The staff take everything bad you've ever heard about French restaurants and turns them on their head. You're always welcomed with a warm smile, a helping hand to remove jackets and coats, and a truly nice feel. Lovely start.
But the secong thing to (not literally this time) grab you is the decor. A real mix of styles, the dining room is split level, with the first floor residing under a bare black roof, cords and ventilation shafts showing. Up some steep stairs is the second floor, normally reserved for big parties. This semi-industrial feel of the ceiling is countered by warm wood tones and sharp lines on the floor, making this unique dining room really stand out from the Melbourne pack.
After sampling some French wines and beers, pick up your menu. A selection of traditional French food awaits, and it surely does not disappoint. Entrees include salade nicoise, St. Jacques, charcuterie plates and, that old staple, Escargots. If all this French is boggling your mind already, do not fret: those fantastic waitstaff (mostly French or trained in French) will assist.
The mains are nothing if not impressive as well: many cuts of beef abound, ranging from minute steaks to eye fillets, all served with individual condiments. This is where the French Brasserie comes into its own: they serve up traditional French food, but every dish has its own story to tell, its own personality. At the end of the night, and in the days after, you'll be able to recall every dish, how it tasted, and what feeling you got from it. Magnificent.