Home > French, Sydney > French Bistro, Element, Sydney

French Bistro, Element, Sydney

I have walked passed Element Bistro many times now. If I didn’t happen to stop in front of the restaurant to take a phone call, I don’t think I would have seen it, it is completely hidden under some stairs. It’s a tiny and cozy restaurant, probably a maximum of 40 people. As soon as you enter, you feel relaxed, welcome and at ease.

I was catching up with an old colleague, S, and I suggested this place. Matt Barnett is Head Chef and Owner. He’s worked at many different places, Awaba at Balmoral Beach, Milsons at Milsons Point and working under Hugh Whitehouse and the Ensemble Theatre as head chef. He’s worked in Canada, and travelled through France, Spain and London. He came up with the name ‘Element’ because he believes that when you dine at his restaurant, you ‘really will be in your element’.

There is one blackboard wall dedicated to the menu. However, if you are facing away from the blackboard, you are presented with an ipad! You can imagine my excitement when the waitress presented me with the ipad, all I wanted to do was play and surf the internet. However, I don’t think my friend would have appreciated that!

The menu is very French, five different choices for appetizers, entrees and mains. They all sounded wonderful but we both couldn’t go pass the Pan Seared Scallops, Sweetcorn Bread Sauce, Pork Crackling ($19). Four delicious plump and juicy scallops seared and cooked to perfection. The sweetcorn bread sauce was deliciously creamy, sweet and had a strong corn taste. I was a little disappointed that there were no pork crackle though!

For mains, I opted for Roast Fillet of Barramundi, Celeriac Puree, Lentil, Bacon & Zucchini Salad ($34). I heart crispy fish skin, the crispier the better. It was a rather generous serving of fish, thick, firm and cooked to perfection. Celeriac is one of my favourite winter roots, it tastes so much richer, deeper, creamier and sweeter than celery and the puree was just that. The lentil, bacon and zucchini salad really complemented the fish and celeriac puree well, it was oh so very satisfying.

S opted for the Crumbed Milk Fed Veal Cutlet with Bourguignon Sauce ($34). The veal cutlet was huge, crumbed and sat on a bed of potatoes and a pool of bourguignon sauce. I had a tiny piece of this, it was tender, and  the  bourguignon sauce was rich and full of flavour. S demolished this, so I can safely say that he definitely enjoyed it.

Unfortunately we were both too full for dessert. It is always hard to have a three course meal for lunch. I did notice they had Rhubarb & Red Apple Crumble, Lemon Thyme Ice Cream and would definitely have ordered it if I wasn’t stuffed and had to go back to work!

The wine list is quite extensive and you can get them by the glass.  Element would be a great place for a first date, or business lunch or just catching up with friends. It’s a great find and a wonderful restaurant that serves classic French food with a twist. The menu changes accordingly to the season and I can see this becoming a favourite. The service is warm and excellent. I am looking forward to returning and trying the rhubarb and red apple crumble for dessert. Rhubarb… I heart rhubarb.

GA’s rating: 7.5 / 10

163 King Street

Sydney 2000

Ph: +61 2 9231 0013

Element Bistro on Urbanspoon

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Categories: French, Sydney Tags: ,
  1. April 27, 2011 at 2:29 am

    Those scallops look awesome. Looks like a great find!

    • April 27, 2011 at 6:20 am

      they were fantastic! glad i found it… wont be the last time we go there!

  2. April 27, 2011 at 4:22 am

    woah that veal cutlet is massive!

    • April 27, 2011 at 6:16 am

      it sure was! I think i finished my fish and he was still going with his veal cutlet!

  3. April 27, 2011 at 7:25 am

    That cutlet is enormous! OK I think I know what I’ll order when I take Mr NQN 😛 And giving an iPad is great. Sometimes it’s impossible to see the chalkboard!

    • April 27, 2011 at 11:51 am

      hi lorraine, you should definitely give it ago! i wanted to take the ipad home! but i think they would know it went ‘missing’

  4. April 27, 2011 at 8:36 am

    This is a great place. My favourite French bistro around. I wish there was a way I could go there every week.

    The duck confit main is exceptional. Probably my favourite dish there.

    And the service from Gloria is second to none. Probably the friendliest in Sydney. Her memory is scarily good.

    • April 27, 2011 at 11:50 am

      oh i saw the duck confit! will have to try that next time i am there… i love duck confit.
      will see if Gloria remembers me the second time round 🙂

  5. April 27, 2011 at 9:48 am

    The place sounds so quaint. I think that veal cutlet is calling my name, lol.

  6. April 27, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    Looks great but gah to no pork crackling! I reckon I definitely would have cheered myself up with dessert. lol

    • April 27, 2011 at 11:35 pm

      thinking back i prob should have! or asked the chef what happened to my pork crackle!

  7. April 27, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    I might go caveman style on that veal cutlet..hold it by the bone and gnaw away 🙂

  8. April 28, 2011 at 1:56 am

    Missing crackle? 😦

    I want to hold that cutlet in two hands to eat – yum!

  9. April 29, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    It’s always a plus (for me anyway) to take a first date somewhere where both of you haven’t gone to before. I am definitely suggesting this to someone “deserving” of my first time. LOL

    • April 30, 2011 at 12:56 am

      hey jenn 🙂 i agree Element is definitely a great place 🙂 you should definitely go with that person who is well ‘deserved’ of your time 🙂

  1. November 12, 2011 at 11:18 pm

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