Saturday, April 12, 2014

La Cassolette

26 Rebecca Walk
VIC 3000

We read a bit about la Cassolette online and decided to give it a try on a Saturday evening. The location by the river and under the railway tracks across from Southbank's bright lights isn't glamorous, but with seats outside as well as in offers views and a little bit of atmosphere.

Inside things are basic, but with just French enough touches. We were greeted by Mickael the manager who showed us to our seats, we had booked, but it wasn't that busy.

We were brought an olive tapanade as as hors d'œuvre with our drinks and explored the menu, which isn't huge but offers a selection of classic French dishes, with an emphasis on fish and seafood.

I started off with the vegetable soup of the day which was a light potato and leak offering on our visit, topped with basil oil and served with croutons.

The crab salad and quinoa taboule brought more striking flavours, featuring fresh crab in a homemade lemon mayonnaise served on top of a quinoa, tomato and cucumber salad.

Mickael came to our table to prepare the house specialty of seared scallops.

He explained he'd been down to Lakes Entrance for the first time and out on the fishing boat with a huge Greek fisherman "with fingers the size of my hand" too ensure a regular supply of scallops of the right size and quality. The Flambé in Cognac was suitable dramatic and impressive!

The scallops were served with homemade Parisian potatoes and parmesan along with a green salad. They were perfectly cooked and tasted great.

I had the fish casserole which was served in a small casserole pot with a side of potatoes drizzled with basil oil. The white fish was cooked with thin slices of leek and carrots topped with a homemade aïoli sauce, and was a little more creamy than I anticipated but still beautiful.

The bill including a few drinks came to $110 which for the quality of the food was great value, you would probably be paying a lot more to get similar dishes across the river. The service was very friendly and the service was swift, if a little haphazard when things got even a little busy. Having lived in Paris I don't often eat French food in Melbourne, but we'll certainly be visiting la Cassolette again soon.

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