15/20

Le Tres Bon

40 Malbon St, Bungendore, NSW

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Chef Christophe Gregoire from Les Tres Bon.
Chef Christophe Gregoire from Les Tres Bon. Photo: Karleen Minney

Kirsten Lawson

Canberra Times Top 20 for 2012

Christophe Gregoire has gone from strength to strength at Bungendore, where he runs this gorgeous French country restaurant virtually singlehandedly – in the kitchen and often on the floor bringing you the meals or discussing the wines.

His style is rustic and brilliantly so, from the small offering of olives from his own trees that starts you off. 

His style is rustic and brilliantly so, from the small offering of olives from his own trees that starts you off.

He’s best in Alsatian homey recipes, like his rustic terrines, or his big-hearted rabbit stews. His snails are wonderful, served in the traditional, simple gratin of butter, shallots, parsley and garlic with pastis.

On his summer menu, he has the likes of tarte flambee in various simple guises; an onion flan; the classic moules frites, or mussels and fries, using organically grown Tasmanian mussels; and duck confit with orange.

And what else in desserts than crepes suzette?

This isn’t old-fashioned French cooking of the 1970s. Far from it, these are lovingly prepared, country dishes in which Gregoire takes care with produce and lets it shine with simple preparation. In winter, he makes a bit of a speciality of local truffles to boot.

The wine list is brief, with choices from just a few local producers – Lerida, Domaine Rogha Crois, and Gallagher, and a bunch of affordable-end French wines from just a few producers. It’s not fancy, but is well-priced and has some appeal and interest, although not much, probably, for the specialist drinkers.

The look could be described almost as shabby chic, housed in a historic cottage in the main street of Bungendore, occupying a series of rickety little spaces, with an open fire – if you can, grab one of the little tables beside this. A place for romance.

How we score: Food and Wine Annual Top 20

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40 Malbon St, Bungendore, NSW

  • Cuisine - French
  • Features - BYO, Licensed, Wheelchair access
  • Chef(s) - Christophe Gregoire
  • Owners - Christophe and Josephine Gregoire
  • Opening Hours - Lunch Wed to Sun, dinner Wed to Sat
  • Author - Kirsten Lawson
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Gorgeous native seasonal produce prepared in a sublime natural wonderland.