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Becasse - Sydney


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I was just wondering whether anyone has tried Becasse yet? How does it compare to Bistro Lulu, Moncur, Balzac and Tabou?

'You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.'

- Frank Zappa

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Niall

I have been to Becasse and had quite a pleasant meal. The biggest problem is that they have an open kitchen and a major difficulty with their extractor fan. You therefore spend the whole night battling severe cooking smells that permeate the space.

You can find our review on the foodtourist site at:

Becasse review

And now to the more difficult part of your question. It isn't Moncur, but then again that is one of my favourite restaurants in Sydney. It's probably on a par with LuLu and Tabou. I haven't been to Balzac yet because i have tried eight times at last count wihtout once being able to secure a booking!

Roger McShane

Foodtourist.com

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest mshafran
I was just wondering whether anyone has tried Becasse yet? How does it compare to Bistro Lulu, Moncur, Balzac and Tabou?

I'm interesting in checking out Becasse, because of its distinction as being very locally friendly in addition to being great cuisine. But I find it hard to think that Bistro Lulu is such a good benchmark for comparison. Lulu is interesting, creative, but in my opinion, unexceptional. It even risks attempting to be too gourmet, as I found MG Garage to be. It's one of my complaints about Sydney food in general, in that too many chefs try hard to impress with their technical skill and creativity, but don't truly translate that into mouth-watering food. I'm far more impressed with places like Longrain, or even a simple gem like Il Baretto. Of course, they're not straight comparisons for French bistro food. I haven't tried Claude's or Balzac, but I do have to say that Guillaume at Bennelong was impressive (despite the fact that I found the atmophere too cold and quiet).

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  • 1 month later...

I have eaten at Becasse three times since it opened.

The high level of technique, the professional service, the excellent value for money ($12, $25, and $12 - entrees, mains, deserts) and the complexity of flavour and presentation, to my mind, surpass each of Tabou, Balzac, Lulu, Bistro Moncur.

Becasse is the best place to open in Sydney in 2002.

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I know it's a tough ask.  Monsieur Pignolet certainly has a lot of goodwill in this Moncur St bistro.  The food I've had there has always been very good, with that old adage of the "ingredients shining through" in evidence - dishes appear uncomplicated and straightforward but of course behind that veneer of simplicity, there is much skill and talent.

Those factors notwithstanding, Becasse wins on a countback. On three recent visits, the chef (Justin North I think) has shown a more sophisticated (but nevertheless restrained flamboyant) technique, more innovative pairings, and stronger more punchy flavours.  I can never recall there being an amuse guele or pre-dessert offered at Moncur, as there has been at Becasse on each occasion.  Service at both is professional, and  Moncur would probably win on the wine list, but it's hard to beat the excellent value for money at Becasse.

On the first visit in January, the food smells at Becasse were more noticeable but not necessarily disagreeable.   Certainly not more intrusive on my meal and conversation than the noise levels at Moncur (forget Lulu where they are unbearable on the busier nights)  On the most recent visit to Becasse in mid April, the smell problem (to the extent that it was a problem) was largely cured.

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  • 2 years later...

Having eating at Becasse, Tetsuya's, Bistro Lulu, and a few less memorable places in the past week I'd strongly recommend Becasse to anyone in the area. Everything about our meal there was excellent. Friendly and competent front of the house, nice wine list, and every dish the kitchen sent out was not only cleverly plated but also very good.

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I've been there twice now, and I have also been to a cooking class with Justin North, and have been very impressed. His winter menu is particularily good.

'You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.'

- Frank Zappa

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Where is Becasse? Too lazy to Google 'cos I'm at work. I'm in Sydney every fortnight or so, and it sounds like a place to go for dinner without clients/hangers on's... I don't mind dining alone...

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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  • 3 weeks later...

Checked Becasse out last Thursday night as I was in the area hunting down an obscure Korean place for belly pork bbq'd. I was extremely keen to check out their menu with the 'value for money' tag in mind, but I guess things have changed in 2 years since this thread was started. It's a minimum $50/head seeing as its 20 bucks for all starters and 30 bucks for all mains.

But the menu, I mean, how can one justify charging $20 for a salad, and then $30 for a vegetarian risotto plate?? Is it just Sydney? I mean, cool website and all, but... really necessary? Wine list looks good though.

However, despite all this, I will try it next time I'm in town.

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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  • 2 years later...

Justin North did two nights as a guest chef at Interlude. It was a 13 course degustation with North providing 5 of the courses (all excellent).

The missus and I decided that we'll be visiting Becasse the next time we're in Sydney.

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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