You have to spoil yourself sometimes and probably one of the romantic nights has to be at either a French or Italian restaurant. In the Paris-end of Melbourne, you can come across a well known French restaurant called Philippe. It is not quite on Collins Street but it’s not hard to miss with its blue signage.
Philippe is located in the basement. Walking down the stairwell, you are greeted to a large window of marinated meats including their duck, beef and chicken on display. It is quite a sight. You can even see how they have marinated their famous rotisserie chicken which has been marinated under the chicken as well with herbs and spices.
The interior of the restaurant offers both table setting and bar setting. You can grab a seat at the bar for a drink, from their extensive alcohol and beverage list, and some AUD$2 oysters. (The oysters are $5 if you eat at the table.) It’s a real after work sort of thing. Whereas the tables are where you can serenade your better half with some delicious French cuisine.
The restaurant definitely brings that fine dining experience to the forefront. The table and seating is very elegant and white, yet classic in its look.
The menu was quite decent, though very expensive. We had a number of guests attending with us during the dinner session and managed to get a good feel for what was good and what wasn’t.
When ordering, you can elect for the optional bread which is sourdough bread from Laurent bakery for $5 with butter. The bread is warm and the butter simply melts on being spread on the bread. You get four slices.
We ordered the wagyu tartare for $32 and pate en croute for $28. We thought the wagyu tartare was incredibly delicious and flavorsome. The pate en croute, while a famous dish, was tasty but didn’t amaze as the wagyu tartare did with its flavor, texture and crispy toppings.
The service was excellent. We enjoyed the banter with the servers who had a bit of fun bringing hot plates to our table (whether for fun or accidental, it was fun to watch).
For mains, I decided to share my rotisserie chicken with my wife so we had two plates with half portions. The rotisserie chicken was the best dish of the night. It was cooked with duck fat and came with delicious potatoes. There were two cuts of the chicken including the breast and thigh portion. The skin on the chicken was absolutely divine. I’ve never tried something as incredible as the chicken, plus the meat was cooked perfectly even for breast meat.
The chargrilled broccolini was fantastic as well with the goat’s cheese and spiced almond crumble. It made for a not-so ordinary side dish to complement our rotisserie chicken.
We also had French fries for the table which was delicious and crunchy.
Our other guests had the entrecote scotch fillet, braised ox cheek and duck breast. I tried a little of the scotch fillet and duck breast. The scotch fillet was really ordinary. It didn’t stand out in any way. The duck breast was buttery and delicious but I would easily pick the rotisserie chicken over the duck breast. The ox cheek didn’t look exciting.
Although the bill came to an eye-watering amount, I thought if you picked the right dishes you would be pretty happy with your dinner. So I’d recommend the wagyu tartare and the rotisserie chicken if you visit Philippe.
Philippe is located at 115 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000 but its just off the main road in an alleyway:
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