When you are about to open a new restaurant how do you come up with a name? Is the inspiration in the location (One Eleven, Iceworks), the food (Spanacopita, Saké), the food style (Mexican Cantina), a vision (Alchemy), perhaps your surname (Gambaro’s, McDonald’s) or your first name (Tetsuya’s, Stephanie’s).
Jeremy’s Bistro is named after Jeremy van Balen – host and bon vivant (and no relation to me!).
Jeremy’s has evolved over the past 13 years from a café to a sophisticated restaurant. White table cloths with printed paper liners; white cloth napkins; quality glassware and a revised menu. Jeremy’s philosophy is to serve the food and drink he would like to eat himself – and he does. All dishes are made in-house and aim to be stylish without being too expensive.
We shared the Lime and Coriander Pork Croquettes ($3 each) – crisp on the outside, soft and full of flavour on the inside, served with a delightful tangy sweet chilli sauce. For mains the crispy-skinned Salmon Fillet ($32) was cooked medium rare, tender with a crispy skin served with a Champagne hollandaise and green beans. The Lamb Rack ($45) with three perfectly cooked lamb cutlets, pink and succulent, was served with vegetables and a sage and lamb jus. A side of Potato Blini chips was interesting – a potato blini (pancake) cut into chip lengths and fried, hot and crisp with a soft fluffy centre, served with a mild aoli. Very moreish.
For dessert ($12 each) there’s a Corella Pear gently poached in white wine and served with cinnamon ice cream, or a Berry Summer Pudding with chocolate mousse and there is a good range of artisan cheeses ($13).
There is an extensive wine list with several good local wines by the glass. The central bar and servery takes up almost half the restaurant, displaying a wide range of wines and other bottles. The atmosphere is provincial bistro-style, with lots of wood, exposed brick and red chairs – casual with an old-fashioned style.
The food is conservative but well-crafted. The service is a little slow – our waitress, from Italy, had limited English but was pleasant and efficient. Jeremy plays ‘Mine Host’, chatting to the regulars whilst serving – competition for his attention made it hard to get the bill! On a second visit I sampled breakfast – good coffee, good eggs benedict with a house-made hollandaise and excellent “posh-baked beans with chorizo”. Jeremy’s is a classic European-style city bistro.