For a truly authentic French dining experience this winter, cosy into a corner and devour hearty French fare at Chouchou.
Sydney’s culinary French wave has just crashed into Bondi Beach with the arrival of Chouchou and we couldn’t be happier. Amidst the flurry of new bistro openings across the city, Chouchou’s point of difference lies in its authenticity, staying true to tradition, and serving up the kind of authentic bistro fare that fills the heart as much as it does the belly.
Greeted by the spirited ‘Bonsoir’ of Chouchou’s owner/operator – Arthur Gruselle – guests are immediately transported from the hustle of Bondi Beach’s O’Brien Street to a Francophiles haven of charming ambience and rustic décor where French chatter ripples through the bar and the smell of fresh bread and oozy raclette fill the air.
Service is relaxed and warm – a direct reflection of the owner – Arthur’s – character which resonates through the overall ambience of Chouchou, we could easily draw out an entire evening here, revelling in the Gallic charm that beckons you to sink further into your seat and order another wine.
Before pouring through the wine list, we can’t resist a French-inspired cocktail to whet our appetite. The cocktail of the day is a hibiscus-infused rum number with fresh citrus and a gentle hum of rose which deserves a spot on the signature list.
Glancing at the neighbouring tables, we’re grateful we opted for a light lunch. Portions are generous and delightfully carb-fuelled (the true love language of the French). From classic bistro bites to sharing cheese and charcuterie boards and larger dishes, the menu celebrates the traditional style of French comfort food.
Smaller temptations include a Baked Camembert wrapped in prosciutto with herbs and honey, and a staunchly French Zucchini Tatin with roasted onions, goats cheese and rocket. On the larger side of the menu, DIY Raclette has already established itself as a crowd fave – melt your own raclette cheese in a mini fondue pot with accompanying vegetables, cornichons, cured meats, and bread – the ultimate pairing for a cool winter evening. Other menu highlights include the Tartiflette featuring baked potatoes, lardons and onions with reblochon cheese plus a Chocolate Fondant with Vanilla ice cream that we somehow managed to find room for in our reserve ‘dessert belly’.
If French fare without the fuss is the mission, Chouchou has chosen to accept it, and boy do they deliver! Open from 4 pm, Wednesday through to Sunday, Chouchou is the definition of a local haunt in the heart of Bondi, perfect for a cosy date night or an intimate get-together with loved ones. Visit their website to find out more.