To say I was slightly excited about Entrecote opening in South Yarra is an understatement. You see Entrecote is “inspired” by legendary restaurant chain Le Relais de l’Entrecote in Paris. A meal at Le Relais is one of those must do Paris experiences.
Around since 1959 the waitresses at Le Relais are kitted out in black dresses with white aprons and very French attitude. There’s only one dish on the menu: steak frites. You are served a salad first, then half your steak, smothered with a peppery sauce and fries, followed by the second half and as many fries as you can fit in.
Entrecote replicates this experience in South Yarra. Just like Le Relais, steak frites are on the menu but the salad comes with the steak rather than before. Entrecote is a bit more relaxed than its Parisian inspiration – it also offers a limited bar menu and even offers fish for (sacre bleu!) non steak eaters. Like any good Parisian bistro meals start with a crusty baguette and I recommend a glass of house champagne to accompany it.
The steak at Entrecote uses premium Hopkins River beef and is buttery soft. I ordered my steak medium rare and it was much more on the medium side. Still delicious meat but overcooking the steak is not something the French would approve of! Entrecote does its own version of Le Relais’ pepper sauce and it’s velvety with just the right amount of kick. But my frites were pale and a little undercooked. I wasn’t offered any more frites although after leaving the restaurant I was told waiting staff would provide more frites upon request.
Clearly the steak is the main event but it’s worth mentioning the accompanying salad which is simplicity itself. It’s made up of a combination of cos and butter lettuces, with a sprinkling of crunchy walnuts and translucent slivers of radish. Crisp and tangy it’s a great foil for the steak.
There are better steaks in Melbourne but none of them are served in such a lovely setting. Sitting on the beautiful verandah overlooking the Botanic Gardens, talking to the waiters with their heavy French accents, a visit to Entrecote is like a trip to Paris without the airfare.
Details: Entrecote, 131-133 Domain Rd South Yarra, VIC 3141 (Ph 03 9804 5468)
Damage: Pricey. Steak frites are $39.90 per person.