The Paris issue

Our October issue is on sale - the Paris special. Grab your copy for all-things Parisian, plus ultimate French baking recipes and more.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller before October 24, 2016 and receive 3 BONUS ISSUES - save 46%.

Gourmet on your iPad

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad.

Best New Restaurant 2009: Bistro Guillaume, Melbourne

A team of champions, they say, doesn’t always make for a champion team. Even so, when Sydney’s Guillaume Brahimi accepted the offer to set up on the banks of the Yarra at Crown, he knew it was going to take a special brigade to have the kind of impact Bistro Guillaume has made on Melbourne.

Such is the importance of a team that can only have their captain on the ‘field’ half the time, inevitably the case with a restaurant run by a chef/entrepreneur with more than one iron in the fire or, in this case, fires 1000km apart. The ‘field’, in this case, is the glamorous, sexy Bistro Guillaume, part of the ongoing assault on Melbourne by star Sydney operators, and the restaurant’s key team members have all played a pivotal role in the restaurant’s rapid rise.

Head chef Daniel Southern came to Guillaume with all the right credentials: the head chef at Melbourne’s L’Oustal and, before that, working alongside the brilliant Donovan Cooke at Ondine and est est est. His pastry and desserts chef, Philippa Sibley, is recognised as a leader in her field; a fiery restaurant specialist whose experience as a partner at est est est, Luxe, and Ondine has cemented her reputation for creativity and dedication to her craft.

And, to anchor the floor, Craig Hemmings who made the trip to Melbourne from Bennelong and has quietly established for himself the reputation of a great host and waiter. He is easily one of the city’s best. Throw in, for good measure, the design skills of Hecker, Phelan and Gutrie and, in the parlance of  modern football, it’s a ‘leadership group’ any restaurant in Australia would kill for.

But Brahimi always knew it was going to take excellence, rather than gimmickry, for his bistro to turn heads. If the restaurant was to stand on the merits of its classical French bistro offerings, the food had to be the best it possibly could, built up to a standard, not down to a price. And so it is. The hospitality had to be utterly professional. And so it is, too.

And, finally, Guillaume Brahimi listened to the advice of his neighbour, fellow Sydneysider Neil Perry, who told him creating a restaurant in Melbourne was no set-and-forget exercise, and he acted accordingly; Brahimi has spent a lot of time in Melbourne this year to help convince locals just how good classic French bistro can be when it’s done right.

And, in this instance, an illustrious playing captain with a team of champions has grabbed the flag. A champion team. The bistro is back and it tastes bloody delicious.

Bistro Guillaume, Riverside at Crown, 8 Whiteman St, Southbank, Vic, (03) 9693 3888,


This article appeared in the September 2008 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.


Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

Latest news
Pinbone is opening a new Sydney restaurant
Melbourne’s Rosa’s Kitchen has closed
Hot Plates: Pickett’s Deli & Rotisserie, Melbourne
The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards are coming to Melbourne and we know where and when
Missy French has closed
Automata’s Clayton Wells is taking over Silvereye
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
things to do this autumn

Whether it's foraging for wild mushrooms in a picturesque Victorian forest or watching a film by moonlight in Darwin, we've got you covered with 20 exciting autumn experiences from around Australia.

Read More
Gourmet TV

Check out our YouTube channel for our latest cover recipes, chef cooking demos, interviews and more.

Watch Now

You might also like...

Albert Street Food & Wine

Philippa Sibley may have left the building, but Albert St F...

Ananas Bar & Brasserie

With a soundtrack laden with dance beats and a dark, moody ...

Aravina Estate

The family-friendly nature of Aravina explains the terracot...


Assaggio's very red, very mod fit-out has undeniable flair,...


The grey-whiskered Ben Willis could pass for a maturing, bu...

Annie Smithers' Bistrot

Annie Smithers may have decamped for Du Fermier, but the bi...

Aquitaine Brasserie

The name is a nod to France's south-west gastronomic heartl...

Bacchus - Brisbane

Rydges doesn't exactly leap to mind when you think "complex...


Pronounce it "bah-la" for Piedmont-born artist and composer...


The mixing of business and pleasure comes second nature to ...


Beccofino is family-friendly casual. A bench perch on the c...


Squirrelled away in a dim, skinny street at the city's frin...

Billy Kwong

There's Australian Chinese food, and then there's Australia...

Bistro Gitan

With its impressive pedigree (launched by the progeny of lo...

Bistro Guillaume

A slice of the Left Bank on Southbank, this chic bistro wor...

get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.