Cliché Exhibition is part art gallery, part bar, and mostly restaurant. It delivers French cuisine in a warm, tongue-in-cheek setting.
The walls are adorned with an eclectic collection of French-themed art named The Wonderful Winkler Gallery after its curator, Walter Ventura. In addition to owning Mexican Society, Tony Tomatoes, Ruby Red Flamingo and Hispanic Mechanic, he doubles as the leader of the team of Adelaide restaurateurs who run this venue together.
Rather than traditional dishes served as is, the food combines French technique with modern twists, including taste hits such as chilli, crispy kale and beetroot. The menu has been designed by chefs Nu Suandokmai and Gregory Hill, formerly of Gin Long Canteen and Lucky Lupitas respectively.
Traditional options include escargot (with garlic, butter, white wine and parsley) and beef tartare. The Cheeky Beef (beef cheek with burnt onion aioli, saffron shallots and crispy kale) melts in your mouth, and the Bardot’s Rack (Kangaroo Island lamb with brown lentils, carrot puree and cherry tomatoes) is beautifully rare. Vanilla brûlée or chocolate mousse makes for a strong finish.
The wine list is predominantly French, with a few locals thrown in. There’s also a small selection of imported beers, and a collection of signature cocktails with a cheeky French influence. Try the Frog In Your Throat (gin, elderflower, cloudy apple, lime and mint).
You’re best to book ahead, as walk-ins – even on weeknights – are rarely rewarded.