Saturday, September 13, 2008

Mere Catherine

Finally, after twenty years of hearing about how amazing this place is, I got to visit Mere Catherine, Potts Point, Sydney. Tiny, cosy, dark, eccentric restaurant that seats 15 or so. I had heard wondrous things about the chateaubriand, but as there were only two of us, Mum and I chose the pork in a creamy mustard sauce and the duck a l'orange for mains. Her duck was perfect: crispy, sweet-sauced, tender and juicy. My pork was wonderful, but we thought the mustard sauce was over-salty. To begin with we had had the salad with Roquefort dressing (very good) and a homemade slab of pate that came with triangles of toast. Excellent pate.

I was able to have a good chat with the miniscule old lady who runs the dining room: we spoke in French about the restaurant's origins and the fact that 90% of the patrons every night are repeat customers who never even have to look at the menu, as it hasn't changed since the 1970s when the original owner set the tone with simple French classics.

Seems like places like this are on the way out: it's a pity, as it's wonderful to find somewhere in the middle of the city where you can be welcomed like an old friend and enjoy a home-cooked meal.

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