Koots Salle à Manger is an intimate modern French restaurant, located just a short stumble south of Kooyong Station. We arrive for our booking on a particularly cold and blustery night, so we take a table by the open fireplace and order a bottle of Les Jamelles sauvignon blanc – that’ll do us very nicely thank you.
For entrée, I order a pair of Tasmanian St Helens oysters au naturel, while N. has his with vodka, ginger and lime granita. The oysters are really good, dare I say it? Possibly the best I’ve had all year.
The menu is typically French and very meat-heavy, with just two seafood options for mains. I politely ask whether there are any vegetarian mains and am pointed to the list of side salads. So, fish it is! I choose the seared bass grouper fillet, with leek fondue and mussels. N. goes for the scotch fillet steak (which gets two thumbs up from him, in case you were wondering).
The fish is lovely – it’s soft and delicate, very melt-in-the-mouth with a foamy leek fondue, and a light creamy curry on the mussels. Delish. I polish off my fish and sneak more than a couple of N’s side of pommes frites as the fire crackles, the waiter pours some more wine … and why yes, I’d love to see the dessert menu please.
I had heard rumours about the vanilla crème brûlée. My suspicions are confirmed by the waitress who takes our order.
“Yes,” she nods knowlingly, “We are known for our crème brûlée.”
Not wanting to risk disappointment, we pass up the dessert share platter (only one crème brûlée, half the size of a full dessert, and you have to share?) and order one each.
Classic. Vanilla. Crème brûlée. This is how it’s done. The custard is a beautiful consistency, not too thick and velvety smooth. The sugar crust is wafer thin, but there is enough to have a bite of its caramel crunch in every mouthful. Magnifique!
Overall, service is definitely not a rushed affair here – but then again, nor should it be. Koots is a lovely place for a quiet romantic dinner or a special get-together with a small group of friends.
Koots Salle à Manger
479 Glenferrie Road, Kooyong