From the moment you enter P'tite Ardoise Bistro, you know you're in a French restaurant. From the French waitstaff with their smooth French accents, the sublime French background music, the hypnotic smell of crusty baguette, and the quick French language course menus, I felt as though I was truly getting a French experience. The restaurant itself isn't large, and even though the tables are quite tightly packed, the experience is still inviting if not intimate.
The menu at P'tite Ardoise Bistro is split across two sheets, with what appear to be a classic menu and a daily menu. Both are written with enough French to really make you feel like you're in a French bistro and enough English so, at least in my case, you can make out what most of the meals are. Suffice to say there is a fair amount of French cuisine on offer!
Bread basket - $3.50
For $3.50 per head, you can have just about as much bread as you like. The bread is heated and there are a few choices - generally a white bread, wholemeal bread, and the French baguette.
Duck l'orange - $34
This twice cooked duck leg was served with vegetables and orange sauce.
The duck leg was delicious - it was tender and moist, and the skin was lightly crispy. The orange sauce added that familiar sweetness that goes with duck so well.
Overall, we were impressed with the flavours of this dish, even though it wasn't a huge serving.
WA beef tenderloin - $44
The beef tenderloin, served on a large rectangular rustic-feel board that really let the presentation of the beef tenderloin stack shine through, was served with foie gras, mushroom duxelle, red wine jus, and mashed potato. Similar to the duck l'orange, the beef tenderloin (served on a big rectangular board and pictured in its entirety above) wasn't a huge serving but in a two or three course meal with bread it's easily satisfying.
I ordered the beef tenderloin medium rare and, sitting on a bed of silky smooth and rich mash, it was cooked perfectly. The beef was pink in the middle and so tender it just about melted in the mouth effortlessly.
The combination of the beef with the rich and strongly flavoured red wine jus, silky smooth foie gras and the mushroom duxelle (a bit like a mushroom paste cooked with butter and onions) had a luxurious feel and blended perfectly into each mouthful.
Vegetables for the table
Vegetables were served with the main course. Nothing too special here, but the vegetables were lightly cooked and seasoned and always welcome. As you can see above, having the vegetables served separately helped keep the main course presentation neat.
Trio of minis - chef's selection - $14
Why have one dessert when you can have three?
This trio of minis had a chocolate ganache, creme brulee, and custard with a meringue.
The chocolate ganache was hot and oozed chocolate goodness in the middle; the creme brulee was super creamy with the classic crisp caramel top; and the custard with meringue had a soft melt-in-your-mouth light and airy meringue.
We liked: Fantastic French food with a French atmosphere.
We didn't like: To maximise the tables in the not-so-large restaurant, some of the tables can be very closely packed together.
Other things to note: Book in advance to avoid disappointment; very gluten-free friendly menu.
P'tite Ardoise Bistro
283 Beaufort Street
HIGHGATE WA 6003
(08) 9228 2008
Tuesday to Saturday - from 6pm