Bon Ap is different to most French places in town. While there is steak frites and French-onion soup on the menu; you won't see any waistcoated staff here.

Owners Damien Desbois (from Brittany), Francoise Lowe (Arcachon) and Sebastien Carmona (Toulouse) want to show Melbourne what contemporary French dining looks like. Broadly, that means a more casual environment that feels partway between a bar and a neighbourhood bistro.

Chef Arnaud Mallet (another expat) keeps it simple. Early on there are croissants, toasted sandwiches, sweet and savoury waffles. Later, charcuterie and snacks such as olives and pickled veg.

If you’re sticking around for a full meal, there are various seafood dishes; steak tartare; and coq au vin – some of which might be included in one of the two set menus. Finish with cheese or crème brûlée.

The wine list is similarly petite, due to budget constraints. The focus is on covering the major regions of France, which take up most of the list. The remainder is drawn from Australian vineyards.

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Updated: February 7th, 2023

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