Food Diary: Mere Catherine, Sydney


Meringue with Chantilly Cream that kind of looks like an armadillo.

We’ve been meaning to go to this tiny, unassuming restaurant in Potts Point FOREVER. A sign says that it seats just 14, and you can’t see into the restaurant from the street. It looks like someone’s kitchen. Inside, it’s a tiny, homy place with tables and chairs close together, not unlike a number of French bistros we dined at in Paris.

It is evidently an institution. Imagine the changes in the neighbourhood and Sydney that the chef-owner and his wife have seen over that time. Inside though, I have the feeling the world has changed very little. It was hot and steamy, and felt like it could have been a hot summer night in France.


Lucifer Soup. The devil’s going to get ya.

My better half’s French Onion Soup was as good as the reviews say. Rich and with texture and served with a splash of sherry: really, this is good french onion soup. My Lucifer soup (pictured) was a surprise. A kick of chili spice that you’d never taste in conventional French cuisine, but a rich buttery base which is the epitome of French cooking. With a splash of cognac, this was AMAZING.

We split the Chateaubriand with the traditional Bearnaise sauce, and had sides of some small crispy and tasty roast potatoes and some boring steamed broccoli.

For dessert, a classic crème caramel (parfait) and an unusual meringue chantilly, which was as perfect a meringue as possibly on top of thick chantilly cream, piped in a lovely pattern over just enough ice cream to make this dish really quite interesting for how simple it was.

In many ways, the food reminded us of classic French bistro food, but none of the food at the Parisian bistros matched up to this. This is a step above. Really beautiful and luxurious cooking, frozen in time, applied to classic French dishes. It’s not cheap, and remember it’s cash only, but boy oh boy, this was a great meal, and the restaurant and service was full of charm.

Mere Catherine

166 Victoria Street, Potts Point, NSW
Tuesday to Saturday 6pm-11pm

Mere Catherine on Urbanspoon

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