What's the secret to Melbourne's best chicken? According to French chef Philippe Mouchel, it's all about the bird.
"You need to have top chicken," says Mouchel. "It needs to be free-range and cooked in a rôtissoire - ours is imported from France - for 45 minutes before resting."
Given that the chef behind CBD newcomer Philippe has been wowing Melbourne with his French cooking skills for more than 25 years - he first came to Australia in 1991 under the Paul Bocuse banner - it's safe to say he knows what he's talking about. But while roast chook may be the house specialty, there's no shortage of other reasons to flock to Mouchel's new restaurant.
We're celebrating the opening with a four-course reader dinner. You're invited to break bread over a menu including the famed rôtisserie chicken and kicking off with pâté en croûte, "One of the oldest dishes in France," says Mouchel. His combines pork, veal, foie gras and pistachios with a lift from pickled vegetables. It's followed by citrus-cured rockling, poached and set atop seafood risotto with a bouillabaisse sauce and finishes with an elegant almond blanc-manger.
"On the night expect good food, good service and a good time as well," says Mouchel.
Join us for dinner at 6.30pm on Monday 19 September at Philippe, 115 Collins St, Melbourne, Vic. The cost of $140 includes four courses and a $10 donation to the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation. To book, call (03) 8394 6625. For more on the OCRF, call 1300 OVARIAN or visit ocrf.com.au