Resto Bobo – Melbourne
Words by Kate Taylor
Images Courtesy of Eugene Hyland
Nestled right in trendy Windsor, adjacent to Mr Miyagi, and squeezed in close to Hawker Hall, sits the stylish French casual diner, Resto BoBo.
Offering beautifully surprising and delicate share plate options in an award-winning French-style art deco interior, you and your besties will be taken away from the noise and bustle of Chapel St to enjoy the food, the drinks, and the seriously French, surprisingly friendly, wait staff.
Thing is, Resto BoBo offers something you won’t find anywhere else in Melbourne: the many flavours of their signature dish, tarte flambée.
Tarte what? Tarte [tart] flambée [flom-bay]. Literally, a hot tart.
It’s a traditional French-style pizza from the Alsace and surrounding regions (North East France, Southern Germany), made with a very thin bread dough base, presented as a rectangle and cut into smaller rectangular pieces. Super easy to eat that way. Trust me. They story goes, the French used to cook the bread to test the heat of the ovens, and then share the bread with the whole village.
Resto BoBo creator and owner (and ex-engineer) Dan Xerri, fell in love with the generous community spirit and traditional flavours of the French country-side after spending some time living and working as an engineer in Strasbourg. Back home in Australia, Dan brings Melbourne just a small piece of that discovery.
I was so lucky to have dined at Resto BoBo this week. As Dan began to explain the cocktails, and patiently answer all my questions, I scribbled like a maniac to make sure I got everything down. Not having had a chance to really study the menu before my arrival, I asked Dan to surprise me.
In fact, one of the menu items is the Feed Moi!!! – get it? Can’t decide what you want? Let the people who know this stuff choose for you.
I began with an aperitif. Based on the Kir Royale, these fresh, summery champagne cocktails all come with a twist, and are all served on ice. I tasted the Strasbourg Spritz; a Frenchified Aperol Spritz – Orange Colombo liqueur, Pere Bertrand Triple Sec, Cremant d’Alsace. Incredibly balanced flavours, and perfect for summer.
Now let’s talk food. I tasted one item from the Bites section of the menu, two items from the Plates section (and my favourite of the night), and three unforgettable flavours of the tarte flambée.
The Chorizo Butter Bread Tartine is two quenelles of a bright red paste made of chorizo and coriander, strongly flavoured and served with small slices of bread. Take the paste spread it on the bread. Go for it. This is a great starter – and the bread won’t spoil you for the flambée, so don’t worry about that.
The Garlic & Chive flambée was so full of flavour, so rich and so luxurious, you’ll feel a little guilty, but not guilty enough to stop. It’ll make you angry that you didn’t know it existed until now. It’s something you thought of doing yourself, but you don’t have the necessary skills to make it. The base of the flambée is that thin, slightly crispy dough, with a layer of white sauce. This particular flavour, a twist on a traditional tarte flambée, is emmental (Swiss) cheese, onion, smoked bacon, confit garlic and chives. The cheese is perfect, the flavour is incredible.
If a whole flambée is looking to take up valuable stomach space, and you want to try more flavours, you and your table can order slider versions. Try them all!
From the cheese section of the flambée, ladies and gentlemen:
La Belle Vie #2. Bleu d’Auverigne cheese, fresh julienne pear, onion and pecans. Like the cocktails, the lovely balancing act of the flavours means that you can taste every element – nothing is overpowered by the other. A perfect sharing of flavours.
The Salmon Piquante. From the meat flambée choice list, this is little chunks of fleshy salmon covered in fresh julienne apple and mint, on a base of chilli cream sauce. It’s as refreshing as it sounds. You’ll talk about the flambée for quite a while. That is, until you try your next dish.
Lastly for me, but by far not the least, was the Seared Black Angus Steak & Greens, which was served to me with the Frenchified Mac & Cheese.
Are you ready for this?
The carved steak is served on a long plate, and is presented in bite-size squares, with little visible salt flakes just around its edges. Extremely tender, and wonderfully juicy, flavours of garlic are subtle and pair gently with simple seasonal greens. Your table will need this one.
And finally, the pièce de résistance for my evening, the mac and cheese. Housemade Spaetzle (Alsatian pasta), pan fried in duck fat, and served with a multi-cheese sauce. A light paprika sprinkle for colour. Duck fat. Pan fried. The pasta is soft, but with a beautiful crisp touch, and cheese sauce is rich, thick and is basically the best mac and cheese in Melbourne. I said it.
You won’t want to miss this little place. You’re in for a traditionally long French evening of friends, bread, butter, cheese, herbs and sparkling cocktails.
**Kate was a guest of Resto Bobo/Zilla & Brook PR – Deveta Patel
Connie Lambeth – The Australia Times News
Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events
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MORE SWEET PICS FROM RESTO BOBO…