What a delight it is – upon the occasion of Consider The Sauce’s first visit to Small French Bar – to have lunch in Footscray when the mood is for lightness and avoidance of bowls laden with noodles.
When the desire is not so much for quantities of food as it is for a food experience.
Just think – within a few months, the inner west has been blessed with eateries of the French, Jamaican and Portuguese persuasions.
And the world hasn’t ended and the west still exists pretty much as before.
Small French Bar (3/154 Barkly Street, 9687 8479) is housed in cosy premises in the Royal Hotel building.
The cafe is done out in simple style and there are French tunes on the sound system.
The menu (see below), too, is simple – split as it is into sections for petit dej, frommage, brasserie, snacks charcuterie and patisserie.
Duck confit ($25) is being joined by a rotating cast of French classics such as coq au vin, pot au feu and beef bourguignon.
Daylight hours are the go at the mo’ – but when the place gets its liquor licence in a few weeks, night hours will be introduced.
My goats cheese salad ($15) is simple and magical.
Good greens are dressed with walnut oil and cider vinegar, while the slightly unorthodox inclusion of pine nuts adds lovely taste and texture.
Sitting on top are three slices of fresh baguette slathered with fabulously flavoursome Buche de chevre, both warmed rather than toasted.
Wow – it’s a perfect and wonderful light lunch!
Stefan tells me he took to heart the lively discussions on the Facebook pages of both Inner West Newsboard and Consider The Sauce regarding his use of foie gras.
At first, he bristled with defiant pride based on cultural heritage.
He loves the stuff – and so, too, do his Vietnamese customers.
But putting aside all that – and the questionable ethics of people all around the cafe happy to tuck into budget meals undoubtedly not made with free range or organics chickens – he decided to take it off the menu.
It’s a pragmatic business move – naturally, he wants Small French Cafe to appeal to the widest possible audience.
It’s a decision, too, that will doubtless leave some delighted and others disappointed.