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Saturday 20 August 2022

French culinary delights in downtown Adelaide

There is something about a beautifully cooked French meal that instantly nourishes the soul.

The arrival earlier this year in Adelaide of Garcon Bleu means the City of Churches now has its own little gourmet slice of France.

Garcon Bleu, on level nine of the Sofitel in Currie Street, is a restaurant that happens to be in a hotel, rather than a hotel restaurant - and it was buzzing on a Wednesday night.

The $150 million new-build hotel offers guests a selection of 251 rooms and suites with a choice of city and Adelaide Hills views - a full review will follow - but the quality of the restaurant makes it a stand-alone destination. 

Think a casual ambience but a serious approach to classic French dishes using local produce. 

Garçon Bleu’s has a 90-seat dining room with an open kitchen, wine wall, and an oyster and raw seafood bar.

The wine list offers an excellent selection of French (lots of serious Burgundy temptations) and Australian labels, from favourites like Cullen and Henschke to micro producers like Ministry of Clouds and Stargazer.

Wines by the glass include labels like Shaw+Smith, Yangarra and John Duval.

It is the menu, however, that captivates.

Who could resist a light-as-air cheese souffle with bechamel sauce, mushroom velouté and pickled shimeji (above). 

This dish is an instant trip back to one the bouchons in Lyon. Tempting scallops and the terrine will have to wait until next time.

For main course, what else but classic steak frites? 

A 250-gram grass-fed Scotch fillet (below), with a spot-on béarnaise sauce and deliciously crunchy pommes frites. The side salad, was, sadly, a little dull - but who cares when a meat dish is this tasty. And it comes with some sparky little vine tomatoes bursting with flavour.

Dessert choices include a tarte tatin with crème fraîche ice cream and caramel sauce, or a creme brulee, but I opted for chocolat fondant with orange segments, cocoa nibs and chocolate mousse. The right choice, I think.

The service here is spot on and you can enjoy a three-course dinner for around $100 per head, which is great value these days given the quality of food and service.

If I lived in Adelaide I would be eating here a couple of times a month.

Garcon Bleu is open Wednesday to Friday for lunch from noon and Wednesday to Sunday for dinner from 6pm. Reservations are recommended on (08) 8432 1999. See

# The writer was a guest of Sofitel Adelaide

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