About

Montrachet – Created by Thierry Galichet.

Thierry was born in Lyon in 1955 and migrated with his family to Australia in 1970. His grandparents ran restaurants and his mother was an exceptional cook, so it seemed only natural that one of this large family of seven children would be called into the kitchen. He bravely opened his first restaurant La Grande Bouffe at 19 years of age and has had a string of establishments earning him the dubious title of ‘eponymous’ by the local media. Thierry opened Montrachet in June 2004. While his home is very much in Australia he frequently returns to France on jaunts of indulgence.

Thierry is a warm, gregarious, larger than life character whose generosity is exceeded only by his exuberance for cooking and eating – not necessarily in that order. He loves to share good times with others and a measure of the success of all of his restaurants must lie with his genuine attitude of hospitality. He doesn’t advertise, preferring as he puts it .. to “advertise on the plate”.

The following is an excerpt from an article originally written in the 4EB newsletter. This will give you an idea of what you might expect from your dining experience ….

“…..Our friend Patrice invited Raphaël for lunch at Thierry Galichet’s new restaurant in Paddington. The occasion was not only “men’s business” but also Patrice wished to interview Thierry for a French program on radio 4EB.  As things turned out Thierry was too busy to do the interview so Patrice decided to go ahead with his program on the restaurant without the interviewee!  The following are translated extracts from his program.

“…….I am going to present to you the restaurant, the food (at least what I tasted) and the wines that I had the occasion to drink yesterday on my gastronomic outing.

The restaurant at 224 Given Terrace is in the middle of a row of old shops – modernised – very good taste!  The name of the restaurant “MONTRACHET” is etched in the middle of two large frosted glass windows, and above a sign – “Bar, Comptoir, Restaurant”.  An enamelled sign on the door says “TIREZ” (pull) – in french if you please!

We enter and bang! shock! I’m dreaming! I’m in France! On the left a long red leather sofa runs the length of the room. In front of the sofa large tables for two, with white linen cloths – the sort of tables that the waiters slide in and out so the ladies can sit on the sofa. The tables are set with generous glasses and heavy serious cutlery…we are not here to nibble but for the pleasure! And then there are the chairs, comfortable and joyful… Oh yes joyful!

On the right, the bar in marble and wood, with high chairs also covered in red leather. You can seat 10 to 12 people around this altar of good eating. And this bar is overflowing with bottles – the colours, the names which make you homesick. It is a pleasure for the eyes – there is everything here – a veritable Ali Baba’s cave …And then I have forgotten to tell you about the copper and the lamps – just like the beautiful brasseries in Paris! And gentlemen if you have a hat – there is a row of hooks, sort of country primary school, at the entrance.

The Chief of this establishment is king of his kitchen, master of the dining room and emperor of his cellar… he is Thierry Galichet. He runs, he turns, he cooks, he enters the dining room…”welcome Madame, welcome Sir”…he recommends, he suggests, he says something is succulent and something is fresh and that something else is delicious and life is great! And we believe him!

When Raphaël and I sat down he appeared with a Ricard (aperitif, like pernod)glasses and a jug of water…you ask nothing and you are served. He gives us menus but decides for us. You Raphaël will have the coquilles St. Jacques (scallops) and you Patrice will have the soufflé and after that the duck and … wine, a white that I imported direct, a Mâcon blanc (one of the best white burgundies) the son is a very good friend. After that the Beaujolais Villages from my friend Jacques, he grows it on top of the hill, there where the rocks give the taste of stone to the wine… He is a poet this Thierry, he sings the praises of the vineyard. Don’t be afraid – he will not choose your menu, he will let you choose. But sometimes…

The coquilles St Jacques and the soufflé arrive served by a young girl who knows her job, efficient and discreet. The chilled Mâcon is served by the sommelier and we attack.

I can’t tell you anything, words are not enough…
It should be set to music…
The soufflé, light as a feather…
The coquilles St Jacques, divine…
The Beaujolais, delightfully smooth…
The duck on its bed of potatoes and other things… better not ask me too much at this stage for the tastes have put me in paradise.

Thierry returns and suggests the chocolate cake. Strange! I didn’t see that on the menu and you Raphaël? You should see this cake and experience the taste, the texture! Oh la la! Two coffees, two cognacs and joy in our hearts. The soul detaches itself from things terrestrial and flies towards nirvana…

I was so taken with my plate and my companion that I paid no attention to the other merry diners, who it seems were not working, Strange! Me neither that day!

We discussed without having to shout, we ate and drank with no regrets… how about we do it again next month? ..”

Our friend Patrice is French and he is the artist responsible for our wonderful Christmas holiday window art that has now become somewhat iconic for some!