Chef Leonard Michaud doesn't do fine dining. He could if he wanted. Having spent time in the kitchens of Michelin-starred restaurants in London and in his native France, he’s well trained.
But at Bistro Avoca, Randwick's smart modern-Australian restaurant, the young chef is doing what he calls “accessible gastronomy”.
Bistro Avoca changed hands in early 2015, and while the space hasn’t been redecorated – the sharp black and white of the dining room remains with its crisp linen tablecloths and dark floorboards – Michaud overhauled the menu.
It changes seasonally and is contemporary Australian laced with Asian influences and underpinned by classic French technique.
There’s an entree of cured Tasmanian Atlantic salmon paired with a sake-avocado bomb. If Michaud has a signature dish, it's beef rossini with foie gras on truffle toast, pomme pont-neuf chips and broccolini in a balsamic beef jus.
A largely Australian, 30-bottle wine list is heavy with reds from South Australia and whites from the central west and Hunter Valley. Nine come by the glass, as does sake and plum wine.
For dessert, Michaud has fun with a towering pavlova made with Italian-style meringue and topped with berry sorbet. The Sunday brunch menu features everything from bircher muesli to beef eye-fillet with salad and fries.