PROFILE BY BEST RESTAURANTS
They say if you want to learn to speak French, take up a French lover – however, after a soiree under Jean Francois Salet's culinary wing, it will be the food that will have you sighing in sweet French nothings. With its quietly confident edge fused with undeniable passion, Le Pelican embraces an urbane sophistication within its petite space. The vine-draped exterior opens directly into the dining room which has its original sandstone walls that date back to the 1850s, when they used to enclose one of the first pubs in the area. The old cellar remains below the wooden floorboards and is still used to store stock for the restaurant today,but above ground the tables are set primly and the walls adorned with art du jour.
The dishes take influence from the Basque region, meaning the flavours are fresh and light, and each meal is plated up as a work of art which tempts more than just the taste senses. Begin with some freshly shucked Wapengo Lake oysters with shallot dressing and rye bread or perhaps the crispy Bangalow sweet pork with piperade and jus. Follow with the ever-popular house-smoked flathead pie with mussels, broad beans and soubise sauce or try the oh-so-French duck two ways with carrot and fennel puree, kipfler potatoes and jus. The chefs take the opportunity to let loose on the creativity when it comes to the specials board, so make sure to tilt your head in its direction. Each dish is accompanied with a wine recommendation which helps to eradicate any uncertainties as the list has many drops from Europe as well as our home soil. It's these thoughtful touches that have the diners returning to Le Pelican for another French love affair.