By Jo Attard

    Since opening, Bar Romanée has quickly claimed its place amongst the fine dining restaurants of the inner west. With its sophisticated European bistro feel, plush teal booths, long curved bar and low lighting it’s a far cry from the old Bakers Delight which once stood in its place. 

    Brainchild of Jim Gridas from just six doors down at Yarraville’s Barkley Johnson Deli and Wine Bar, and chef Anna Qualye, formerly from the Fitzroy Town Hall, this place oozes style and elegance. There’s an extensive wine list which this reviewer sadly side stepped in the name of Feb Fast, but luckily there were several delicious non-alcoholic mocktails to wet my whistle. To dine we also bypassed the chef’s menu which included three small plates, three larger plates and desert for $90 opting for a self-curated journey in indulgence instead.  

    For starters, the Fraser Island Spanner Crabs paired with apple and dill on sweet brioche toast were fresh, light and delicate and surprisingly a larger serving than expected. Generous too, were the marinated zucchinis seared to perfection and topped with the most luscious of soft burrata cheese and a sprinkle of currents and pumpkin seeds for crunch. Rounding off our small plates we devoured the black pudding, golden fried and topped with an egg, it contained melt in the mouth richness which the euro style pickles cut through perfectly. 

    It was, however, the infamous stuffed pig trotter and the story behind the special which had us most intrigued dictating our main’s order. Originating from master chef, Pierre Koffmann, the dish is notoriously one on many chef’s wish list. The classic French recipe was handed over to Anna while legendary Koffmann visited the restaurant in January leading a sold out lunch sitting. 

    On presentation, the pig trotter looks whole, however its glistening jus drenched skin and bed of velvety potato purée give a clear indication of the decadence within. Deboned and stuffed with smokey morel mushrooms, caramelised veal sweetbreads and chicken mousse the dish is melting and succulent. We opted for a serving of Cobb Lane bread with cultured butter to mop up the rich sauce but all that lavishness sadly left no room for pudding. 

    The overall dining experience at Bar Romanée is luxurious and perfect for a special celebration. They often have guest chef sittings and paired wine journeys so watch their socials if you’re looking for somewhere to impress a special foodie in your life. 

    Bar Romanée
    (03) 9687 8451
    25 Anderson Street, Yarraville

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