Philippe Mouchel brings back Melbourne's most famous rotisserie chicken

Front of house Tim Sawyer with Philippe Mouchel at his new Melbourne CBD restaurant, Philippe.
Front of house Tim Sawyer with Philippe Mouchel at his new Melbourne CBD restaurant, Philippe.  Photo: Pat Scala

French chef Philippe Mouchel​ and his succulent rotisserie-cooked chickens, which garnered a cult following at PM24, return to the CBD on Friday, June 23.

You'll find his namesake restaurant, Philippe, in the basement-off-Collins that was previously Brooks of Melbourne (and once David Malouf's MoMo and Jamie Oliver's Fifteen) – a mod-French bistro with a raw bar that's very Paris-right-now.

Mouchel's imported more than just an embossed zinc bar top (a very good spot for an aperitif); he's recruited Burgundy national Aurelien Gransagne, previously of two Michelin-starred L'Esperance, as his chef de cuisine. 

Front of house Tim Sawyer with Philippe Mouchel at his new Melbourne CBD restaurant, Philippe.
Front of house Tim Sawyer with Philippe Mouchel at his new Melbourne CBD restaurant, Philippe.  Photo: Pat Scala

Together they've created a menu that makes good use of the aforementioned rotisserie – the first thing you see when you walk in the door – and throws around comforting buzzwords such as foie gras, escargot and souffle. 

Front of house maestro Tim Sawyer, previously at Bella Vedere in the Yarra Valley, oversees the split-level dining room. It's been given a bit of a spruce-up with the help of Crosier Scott Architects but the foundations are the same – soft leather banquettes line the wood-floored room and a wall of plants brings a little sunshine to the subterranean space.

A reasonably sized wine list sports a selection of champagne, of course, and a 50/50 representation of French and Australian producers, but it's the pre-dinner drinks list you should have your eye on, with oyster-friendly sherries and vermouths.

Open Mon-Wed noon-3pm, 5pm-10pm; Thu noon-3pm, 5pm-11pm; Fri noon-3pm, 5pm-midnight; Sat 5pm-midnight. 

115 Collins Street, Melbourne, 03 8394 6625, philipperestaurant.com.au