A little while ago I mentioned that Stephane had left Willow Creek and Salix to start up on his own in the place in Balnarring vacated by Ricca when he moved to Stumpy Gully.  Well, I went to try Le Bouchon and was most impressed.

Stephane has lifted the decor – it’s much lighter and brighter and there is now one big comfy bench along the main wall which adds extra seating and brings a warmth to the place.  There is also seating outside in a little garden area.

The menu – very simple, very French and the prices are not outrageous.  Starters include seafood and charcuterie platters to share, with rich terrines and pâtés.  There are four basic main courses: confit du canard, steak (two types with a variety of sauces), poisson (of the day) and pork belly.  And then a selection of desserts including mousse au chocolate and crème brûlée.  Specials were available including calamari.

The wine list is not huge and features French and local Mornington Peninsula wines.  Prices start at around $40.  The Bordeaux I had, a Château Le Tros was $63, and very good too.  A little too much Crème de Cassis in our Kirs when we got started was the only minor fault in that department.  It’s BYO ($10 corkage) on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

The food was good – confit, steak and belly pork all most excellent, as were the starters and desserts.  Prices for starters, from $12.  Main courses are typically under $30.

Le Bouchon

Le Bouchon

So a great new addition to Balnarring and well worth trying.  If he can maintain his quality then I think Stephane will have a hit on his hands.


The bread basket at Le Bouchon