WARNING: If you are a vegetarian, this review is best left untouched. This is akin to a murder scene, a gluttonous and bloody murder scene – a rare one at that. As a prologue, I must mention my ongoing love affair with the cow, but the cow that doesn’t moo – I call it, THE STEAK. Now, one would be forgiven for thinking that a tiny pint sized Asian girl couldn’t fit a lot of this said cow into her tiny frame – however, you could describe my life as a journey in pursuit of the perfect steak ... and how close I came tonight.
France-Soir is a bustling Melbourne institution complete with seasoned French waiters and equally as seasoned decor which gives off an air of authenticity. This is a French brasserie with all the trimmings – the steak frites, escargots, crème brulee are all on the lengthy menu – but the specials, rattled off by a very charming waiter at about a million miles an hour with all manner of lyrical Frenchy is just as extensive. As you may have guessed, we had one singular objective and ordered thick cut rib eyes for the table. I ordered mine rare, which I will do at any establishment with quality cuts of meat - not just any meat: grass fed meat from south east Gippsland. We also ordered mashed potato and green beans along with a Roquefort sauce. However the most perfect side was Mac Forbes’ (local legend and GTW Winemaker of the Year Finalist 2011) Yarra Glen Pinot Noir 2010. I heartily encourage you to explore all of Mac Forbes’ burgeoning wine portfolio. I digress, di-grass? Oh there will be puns, make no mi-steak.
Our Frenchy settles our cuts of rib eye down on the table all at once despite varied cooking times, which earns my respect. Our neighbouring table vocalised their food envy, as practically half a cow was laid out on our own. The serving is generous at 280 grams and thick it is. My knife quivers in anticipation as I cut through it, the perfect bloodiness (I’m sorry vegetarians if you are masochistic and have managed to get this far) and tenderness. I rate France-Soir and their thick cut rib eye for $39 above and beyond Rockpool, where you will pay upwards of $80. France-Soir also gains extra credit for unpretentious, quality and charming service. I hoedowned (another cow reference) my steak, practically sexually assaulted the silky mashed potato, decimated the fries and then finished off my friend’s medium rare and much to my party’s dismay, my other’s friend’s medium rare. The end result was rather grim, it did appear as if I were about to have a calf at the table. Once done, as other restaurant goers picked up their jaws from the floor, I was silent in my digestion, just rubbing my tummy while nursing my wine. Mid meal as our dear Frenchy was pouring our water and reaching over my plate, I unintentionally skewered him with my fork. THAT is how hungry I was. What an animal.
My eyes widened with excitement as Frenchy brought out the menus for a perusal of the dessert – however a good friend is someone who knows you’ve had too much and shakes their head in a “do you really think you should be doing that?” manner.
So surely there are other things at France-Soir worth exploring, but you won’t find out about these delectable menu items through this blog because I will never order anything but steak at France-Soir. Now excuse me while I go splay myself out on a soft surface somewhere and nurse my indigestion.
11 Toorak Rd
11 Toorak Rd
South Yarra VIC 3121
(03) 9866 8569
Open late 7 days a week. Bookings recommended.