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Tiny but Tasty

I recently went to Bisou Bisou with my Partner in Dine. It is a lovely French restaurant in Fortitude Valley that is pretty easy to get to, but not so easy to park near. 


That there, that was my only gripe about the place. 


The interior was lovely, and had a very cosy atmosphere. It is the sort of place where you could go for a romantic rendezvous or a feast with your family. A very welcoming place staffed by very friendly people. Everyone was pretty easy to talk to, and very helpful with picking and choosing. I have been to a few places where it felt like the staff had been told, this is what you plug. They happily told you if they loved a dish, such as the baked pumpkin. If they were faking it, they faked it well, so bravo. The person serving our table would double and triple check about allergy related facts before she would let us order things, for me this is a massive win. People who enjoy their food come back. I will be going back. 

The hardest part about eating there was narrowing down the choices. It was incredibly tempting to get every gluten free thing on the menu. Instead, we got an entree each, a main each and three sides to share, plus a couple of drinks. 


The coffee was ok. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t fantastic. The mocktails were good, and I didn’t feel like they were a sad attempt at making you feel like you fit in with the drinking crowd. I have had a few of those mocktails. 

Back onto the food though, there was a lot. It was all pretty good. 

I had the steak tartare, I don’t think this is a surprise to anyone, and it was good. I love steak tartare, it doesn't have to be good,  but I realised there I particularly love any tartare where I can also taste the onion or some sort of acidity. This had just enough onion that every bite contained a nice crunch and a lovely little kick. While it was a tiny dish, it was very tasty. 


My Partner in Dine had the charcuterie. It had air dried ham, pepper berry salami, and some cornichons. I preferred the air dried ham over the pepper berry salami on this. Maybe it is years of having sriracha on things, or maybe they were genuinely mild, but I couldn’t really taste the pepper berry. The salami was pretty good with the cornichon though. The air dried ham was nicely salted, and also very good with the cornichon. IIf you love dill pickles or gherkins, what isn’t good with a cornichon?


Now for the sides, I will get to the mains later. 

The baked pumpkin was cooked in maple sugar, and came with butter milk to drizzle over it. It was served in a small iron skillet, which should have been a warning sign of the temperature. Nothing served on iron is lukewarm, most things served on iron are sizzling. While this wasn’t sizzling it was incredibly hot. We both burnt our mouths on it. This is apparently normal. Once it cooled down, it was very tasty. 


Warm green beans were next on the menu. They weren’t cooked too long, they had a nice crunch to them. They were with pickled red onions and some almonds. The beans didn’t need these friends, being quite tasty on their own, but the accompaniment was appreciated. 

I want to say we also got the cabbage and apple slaw as well. There were two cabbage sides, and I am pretty certain this was the one we got. I was reading the menu to jog my memory, and realised that the two cabbage dishes were only a little different in ingredients. Given that the cabbage dish we had was crunchy, I am sticking with the slaw. It was pretty tasty, and by this stage I was eating it with the remnants of the peppered rib (which I will get to soon). I did have a mouthful on its own, and it was pleasant enough, but definitely something I would relegate to being a side dish. There are possibly people out there who could eat a slaw on its own and be content. I am not one of them. 

Mains!!!


My Partner in Dine had the Peppered Rib of Beef, with a gluten free gravy. I have to admit, I didn’t pay much attention to their plate when it came out, as I was diving into mine. I did notice the meat was cooked in what I have come to think of as a traditional French way, meaning a bit pink in the middle but cooked on the outside. This was great for when I was asked if I would like a taste, to which I said yes. Obviously. It was still a bit too cooked for my taste, see earlier bit about loving tartare, but it was pretty  nice still. The gluten free gravy was very good. I believe we both contemplated drinking it out of the jug. 

Quick aside. For the people that don’t know, you don’t normally get gluten free gravy, and when you do it is occasionally like someone just poured hot water into vegemite. If you're lucky. Sometimes it is like thin glue that has been coloured brown. Rarely, like now, it is good. 


I got the mussels. The classic pot cooked mussels. Cooked in Mouclade, which is like a mild curry sauce, and which I promptly forgot I had asked for shortly after ordering the dish. As the big black pot was placed in front of me, I wasted no time in opening and eating the mussels. The first one was a bit of a shock. As I mentioned three sentences ago, I had forgotten I had asked for the mouclade. I put the first mussel in my mouth and thought something was odd. My brain was furiously trying to figure out why I had mussels but I tasted curry. For some reason, known only to my mind, I had decided that all mussels were going to taste the same as the ones I had eaten as a child, and it blew my mind that they were not only cooked, but tasted like curry. Then, as I ate the second mussel, some part of my brain piped up with “This is what you ordered” and I began to enjoy the dish immensely. I even tried to eat as much of the mouclade as was left in the bottom of the pot. My only problem with shellfish is that there is never enough. If you give me a kilo I will want two kilos. Give me two kilos and I will want ten. You get the image. The mouclade was really nice. A beautiful blend of curry, ginger, lime, and coconut. It almost over powered the mussel, but not quite. 

We did not get dessert this time, next time we will. I want to go back because they have duck as ‘the roast of the day’ on Thursday and Saturday. They also have other mussel sauces I want to try and more sides, mains, and entrees I need to eat. 


If you get the chance, go to Bissou Bissou. You can tell them I sent you but I am pretty certain that won’t do anything yet. I will aim to go there enough that saying this will have some merit. 


Eat well friends, and if you see me there, come join me. 




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