Frédéric is the third restaurant from siblings Antoine, Edouard and Nathalie Reymond – whose father is the famed French-Australian chef Jacques Reymond. It’s more contemporary compared to the Reymond siblings’ other eateries Bistro Gitan and L’Hotel Gitan, both in South Yarra).
Those two restaurants have clear-cut personalities, but both draw on classic French cooking techniques and service. Frederic steers in a different direction. There’s no white tablecloths, no candles, no leather couches and no fireplace. And less butter.
Frederic and its casual all-day offshoot, Fred’s Bar, have two separate entrances, but diners can move between the spaces inside. Both venues are stylish and intimate, each with their own distinct feel. Frederic has bubble-like light features; marble floors, splashbacks and bar tops; and possibly the plushest, bounciest leather cushion in Melbourne.
The menu, too, is a step away for the Reymonds. Chef Nick Deligiannis (formerly Bistro Gitan, The Recreation, Petit Tracteur) is making broadly Mediterranean fare, with dishes such as flathead ceviche with dill and ginger; grilled octopus with black-garlic mayonnaise, braised radicchio, mussel powder and pickled corn; and snapper a la plancha (a Spanish method of grilling at a high heat) with zucchini puree, fish bacon (snapper offcuts brined overnight in salt and sugar, then smoked and caramelised), baked swede and cherry tomatoes. For dessert, there are loukoumades with a brown butter crème anglaise.
But even with its Spanish, Greek and Italian notes, there are familiar French elements here, such as a Lyonnaise salad with white anchovies, and a Western Plains pork terrine with sauce gribiche. There’s also veal tartare, a savoury manchego-mousse mille feuille, and a separate steak menu with five cuts priced between $28 and $120. The latter, a côte de boeuf (rib eye on the bone), is made for sharing.