The French House
Stepping into The French House will remind you of walking wide-eyed into your favourite sweet shop as a child. The luscious interior has elements of a grand manor with touches of marble, dark woodgrain and gold-plated fixtures . If you’re after pastries, cakes or other baked goods, The French House has you covered for it’s not long after you’re left gobsmacked by the interior design that your eyes begin to wander towards the expansive displays of sweet treats.
A Christmas tree with class
Yes, they do also serve hot dishes as you will shortly discover.Seating is limited inside so you’ll have to be early or quick but an expansive covered deck offers plenty of space outside.
The menu is located on a mirror behind the counter and once you’ve somehow made up your mind, you can order and pay inside and the staff will bring your dishes out to you.
What better way to start the morning than by diving into cups of rich coffee ($3.80)? They were so good we went back for more. The hot chocolates that we saw drifting by also looked magnificent.
Beetroot, walnut and goats cheese quiche
Taking ingredients that one would normally have expected to find in a salad, the beetroot, walnut and goats cheese quiche ($7.90 or $14 with a salad) is one of many quiches on display such as asparagus & leak, spinach, ricotta & roast pumpkin and more. For the price, the slice that we received was quiet large. The quiche was heated and tasted great but would have benefited from some more of the goats cheese for flavour or perhaps some reduced balsamic thrown into the mix. The pastry was light and flaky.
There were two versions of croissant tartine on offer. I opted for the salmon, sauteed spinach, avocado and hollandaise ($18). The other option being scrambled egg, crispy prosciutto, cherry tomato, mushrooms and hollandaise ($17).
My comments are mainly positive for this dish. The croissant was authentic and soft with a classic combination of salmon and spinach. The two poached eggs were still slightly soft in the centre and the avocado was fresh. The hollandaise unfortunately was a let-down; too thick and not much flavour. There also wasn’t very much of it and assuming it was more to my taste I would have preferred a healthier serving of it.
The scrambled eggs ($15) was more intricate than the name suggests. Goats cheese throughout and Parmesan cheese for some bite worked very well in this savoury dish. A drizzle of truffle oil melded it all together. The eggs were served on some delicious, crunchy sourdough and with a side order of bacon ($4) which I would have liked to have seen a bit more of.
Apricot pistachio almondine
All of the sweet items we tried were $6 each. The strawberry tartlette was a winner thanks to a set custard and melt-in-your-mouth pastry. The almondine was slightly on the dense side but the fruit topping was its saviour. The éclair and passionfruit tartlette were the best in my opinion. The éclair was filled with a light chocolate cream that made it worth the indulgence.
Cakes and tarts
If you’re hosting an afternoon tea or fancy meeting friends for a sweet get together, The French House is an establishment worth a visit. The breakfast dishes satisfied the savoury peeps at the table and there are plenty of options other than what we tried such as croissants (tomato & bocconcini, avocado, tomato & cheese or ham & cheese, $6.90 each), French toast (banana & Nutella, strawberries, ricotta & honey or ham, gruyere & wholegrain mustard, $14 each) and mouthwatering sandwiches.
This is a café with a vibe that’s quite different to most that I’ve visited and I it’s one I can definitely get used to.
Overall Rating: 18/25
Website: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-French-House/158568197494541 (unofficial)
Address: 1 Danks Street, Waterloo, 2017
Payment Options: Credit cards, EFTPOS, cash