Smoked trout and horseradish pâté… the smoke element added intrigue without overpowering and the petite cornichons were, well, perfectly pickled. Photo: Wendy Johnson.

"We don’t normally indulge in dessert but several on the list shouted ‘pick me, pick me’,” says dining reviewer WENDY JOHNSON.

It’s French through-and-through and the food is fine indeed.

Wendy Johnson.

The Bowral Brasserie was our destination on a quick getaway from the capital and, my-oh-my, every dish was délicieux.

The brasserie specialises in traditional-inspired classics and puts tremendous effort into making you feel like you’re dining in France. Images of the busy streets of Paris adorn the walls, including one featuring the Eiffel Tower, and the white linen tablecloths are crisp. Intricate chandeliers, candles, vases and decorative items fill every available space. The décor is eclectic but in its own way très chic. The music was lovely and the right level for good conversation.

The restaurant does “Destination Southern Highlands” proud and we struggled with what to select. Everything sounded so delish. 

We began with a sensational smoked trout and horseradish pâté ($16). The smoke element added intrigue without overpowering and the petite cornichons were, well, perfectly pickled.

Steak frites… sensational, melt-in-the-mouth sirloin. Photo: Wendy Johnson.

The steak frites were equally sensational ($36). The melt-in-the-mouth sirloin arrived rare, just as ordered. The Café de Paris butter was decadent, and the red wine jus had lovely colour and depth (slightly sweet for my liking). The pommes frites were piping hot and crunchy. 

Peppered eye fillet Wellington… wrapped in magical filo pastry. Photo: Wendy Johnson.

My friend indulged in the peppered eye fillet Wellington ($38), just the right size. The quality eye fillet was wrapped in magical filo pastry, which always transforms a dish. The sauce au poivre was a statement in its own right and masterfully made. 

Other mains include coq au vin ($34) and trout en papillote, which was served to a neighbouring table and caused instant food envy ($37). Who can go wrong with boned Snowy Mountains rainbow trout with white wine, lemon and herbs? 

Orange and chocolate mousse… decorated with bright berries and cream. Photo: Wendy Johnson.

We don’t normally indulge in dessert but several on the list shouted “pick me, pick me”. We shared the orange and chocolate mousse ($15), decorated with bright berries and cream. It looked and tasted amazing, and was a generous serve, so we were content to have shared. We savoured every spoonful and took our time sipping golden Botrytis. Next visit, dessert may well be the vanilla bean crème brûlée ($15) or the profiteroles au chocolat ($16). 

The Bowral Brasserie’s wine list is intriguing and carefully curated. It’s also reasonably priced, considering the quality of wines selected. We toasted the Southern Highlands with the Dawning Day chardonnay which was absolutely delicious. Dawning Day is a small vineyard that gives 10 per cent of all sales revenue to help those in need.

Service was fine although we couldn’t grab anyone’s attention to get the bill, so got up to pay cash. 

With covid still clouding our lives, it’s lovely to head out on little adventures. Bowral… we will be back. 

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