Thursday, October 26, 2006

Maitre Karl, High Street, Willoughby

Maitre Karl, High Street, Willoughby
Thursday 26 October, 2006

I loved this place the first time I visited and I put a challenge out there that I would return within a month. I'm impressed to share with you that I have met that challenge head on......

Tonight, after several weeks of raving about this place, I took my family there to experience the French/ Euro food of Karl and his team. I spoke with Karl the previous weekend to make our reservation and I absolutely love his booming, commanding voice.

We arrived tonight and were greeted warmly. Karl works the floor so well and seems to know what is happening at every corner. For a Thursday night Maitre Karl was packed - streams of eager diners kept arriving, some were turned away for not having a reservation.

We ordered the signature dish, Tarte Flambee for entree - Classic with finely sliced onion and bacon and the Special topped with black forest ham, gherkin and mustard. We shared these between the 5 of us. These are like the thinnest pizza you can imagine and served in a rectangle on a large wooden block. The taste is magic - the crispness of the base and savoury taste of the ham and other toppings make this dish very moorish. They were a winner.

For main I had to try their duck - Canard Roti - Oven roasted duck, sweet potato galette, flamed grapes, port wine jus as I had heard such good things. Karl didn't disappoint - this was the most tender, delicious duck I have ever tasted. It was served as two pieces - one leg and one breast with a crispy skin. Just magnificent. My dinner buddies ordered the duck, pork knuckle and barrimundi (which came served in paper that you unwrap).

When you build a place up like I did with Maitre Karl - there is that element of - will they like it, have I gone on a bit much etc - but I'm pleased to report that everyone loved it. So much so, the compliments didn't stop and there are already plans to return.

Maitre Karl - 197 High Street, Willoughby - (02) 9958 1110


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