The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

French @ P'tite Ardoise Bistro, Perth

Whenever we go back home to Perth for a visit, we're always impressed at how well the dining scene has improved over the past 7 years. During our recent trip to Perth, we met up with hubby's friend from university and his girlfriend for dinner, and this couple has a pretty good knack for choosing good restaurants to meet up at. S suggested P'tite Ardoise, a French bistro located just outside Perth CBD, very close to where hubby and I used to live. We recalled that the space used to be a German restaurant, which I heard got replaced by a steakhouse, and now it's a French bistro! French food is rather hard to come by in this little city, and I was rather pleased to see that P'tite Ardoise has received good reviews from happy diners. It is located some distance from the main nightlife district of Northbridge, and not too close to the Beaufort Street dining strip, so parking was not too difficult to find (we even managed to score free parking down some side street!). It seems like the business is doing quite well, as our friends had to make the booking some weeks in advance, and it was full house that Saturday evening.

Walking into the bistro:

A relaxed atmosphere inside the restaurant:

P'tite Ardoise means "little slate", is named after the slated rooftops of Normandie where the chef (and probably also his staff) originated from. The atmosphere is intimate and cozy, and it would be a great choice for a relaxed dinner date. The service we received was friendly and efficient, and I loved hearing the gorgeous French accents - it made me yearn to pick up studying the French language where I left off almost 15 years ago. We couldn't refuse the fresh bread offered to us, which is not complimentary, but that wasn't told to us when the bread was offered. Some may have issue about how the bread is offered, but I didn't mind so much because for only AU$3.50 per person, the bread was good quality and we could choose from several types to have with the olive oil, butter and tapenade. When we informed staff of our boy's allergies, it was decided that he should be served the gluten-free bread (though gluten is not one of his allergies). The gluten-free bread rolls came out warm and fresh from the oven, and I was pleased to note that it was flavoured with herbs and parmesan cheese. Gluten-intolerant people would be happy to know that the GF bread was delicious and fluffy just like normal bread.

Delicious cheesy and herby gluten-free bread rolls, especially for the boy:

The olive oil, butter and tapenade to go with the bread rolls:

We could choose from two menus - Le Classiques (the classics) and Menu du Jour (menu of the day), and we could mix and match our courses from both menus. Many of the dishes were labelled gluten-free or gluten-free on request, and I'm sure my gluten-intolerant sister would be at ease dining in this bistro. The kitchen was happy to accommodate my son's allergies, and I'm certain they will also cater to other special diet restrictions. Prices were reasonable for Perth's restaurants (eating out in Perth is getting more and more expensive every year - even more so than Sydney and Melbourne!), with entrées at around the AU$20, mains between AU$30 and AU$40, and desserts and cheese at AU$12 to AU$22.


Friends got Terrine du Chef (AU$20) from the Menu du Jour, which had pork, turkey, pear, pistachio and cranberry. It was a good sweet and salty combination:

The 4-year-old had a classic French entrée, Crevettes sautées a l’ail et persil sur brandade de legumes (sautéed garlic prawns on vegetable brandade with parsley butter sauce, AU$21). Large, juicy and sweet shrimps bathing in a garlicky creamy sauce - thoroughly enjoyable:


For her main course, S chose the Casserole of the Day from the Menu du Jour (AU$40), Seafood Bouillabaise with scallop, prawn, clam, mussel, cod, snapper, scampi in a lobster-tomato sauce. When the casserole lid was lifted, we could all smell the beautiful fragrance of the seafood. S said she liked this dish:

Both hubby and his friend chose the Red-throat Emperor from the Menu du Jour for their main course, served with herb sautéed potatoes, white asparagus and tomato beurre blanc (AU$39). The fish was moist and meaty, cooked just right, and the tomato white butter sauce was a good accompaniment:

I got the French classic, Cuisse de Canard a l’orange et son tian de legumes (twice cooked duck leg with vegetable tian and orange sauce, AU$34). It was beautifully done, and I always appreciate the duck-and-orange combination whenever I eat it:

All mains are accompanied by vegetables:


The special dessert of the day was the Buche de Noel (AU$24) served with strawberry coulis, meringue mushroom and vanilla ice cream with snow sugar. Hubby told our waitress he wanted to try the homemade nougat, and here it is served with a season's greeting:

The chocolate log cake with pistachio creme:

Our friends got the same Buche de Noel, but with crème brûlée instead of the nougat:

We really enjoyed dinner and the lovely company. And we're amazed once again that we can get such fine food in little ol' Perth!

P'tite Ardoise
283 Beaufort St
Highgate, WA 6003
Tel. +61 8 9228 2008

P'tite Ardoise Bistro on Urbanspoon