Those clever kids at Entrecôte restaurant in South Yarra may have found the solution to my greatest problem in life: food envy. You can keep your thigh gap and designer handbags – the only thing that piques jealousy in me is seeing someone else being served a superior meal.
So when there’s only one main course on the dinner menu – and it’s a knockout – that potential for disappointment is whisked away.
Mixing the hospitality smarts of Jason M Jones (Prix Fixe and Porgie & Mr Jones) with the kitchen skills of Simon Moss and the beefy know-how of Adam North of Hopkins River, this chi-chi steakhouse on Domain Road, South Yarra, is a temple to the French bistro staple, steak frites.
While there’s a relaxed breakfast menu and snappy bar snacks list (Entrecôte cheeseburger, you’re next), come dinnertime your dining options are presented in a neat little package of oysters to start ($4 each), steak frites for main, and a handful of desserts.
That steak frites is an exercise in Parisian perfection: an inch-thick porterhouse steak slathered in a lusty anchovy and herb butter. It’s worth noting that the steaks are pushed a little further on the grill than you might expect, so order it rare if you’d usually go for a medium-rare blush. (And if you don’t do beef, the kitchen will whip you up a confit salmon version instead.)
Plates comes piled with salty, golden fries, plus there’s a salad of butter lettuce and curly endive leaves, radish and walnuts to share. You’ll want to hang onto a hunk of baguette to swipe up any remaining herb butter, with its top notes of tarragon and silky texture of pouring cream. Although, like the fries, if you want an extra serving you only need ask.
Yes, that’s right kids: at Entrecôte, bottomless fries are yours for the taking.
But unless you’re in possession of a gargantuan appetite, it’s unlikely you’ll be putting up your hand for more. Plus, there are those desserts to consider, perhaps a textbook creme brulee ($16.90) or wedge of lemon tart ($16.90).
And then there’s the wine list, which sports a cherry-picked selection of Australian and French vintages, including a bone-dry Save Our Souls rosé, and a handy little Bordeaux for $40 a bottle.
It’s early days, but Entrecôte already has the warmth and charm of a timeless neighbourhood haunt. With a quick lick of paint, chic bentwood chairs and crisp white linen, the boys have breathed new life into the graceful old terrace on the corner of Millswyn Street.
Whether you stop by for a morning croissant on the patio, $2 oysters and $12 champagne during happy hour (daily, 4pm–6pm), or steak frites at 11.30pm (refreshingly, the restaurant is open until midnight), this box-ticking bistro is sure to impress with its focused, well-executed vision.
133 Domain Road, South Yarra
Seven days, 7am–midnight
Thanks to Gus Ramsay for sharing his photos and securing a booking at Entrecôte. Follow Gus on Instagram for more fab food snaps (and quite a few selfies).