Comptoir is a French tapas and wine bar that offers a fun environment conducive to socialising with a selection of affordable French fine wines in Kennedy Town.
Split between two floors, downstairs at Comptoir features a bar and counter seating, while upstairs has a private room that fits eight people. The vibe is right, the décor is simple and chic, and on our visit has attracted a few couples obviously on dates.
We prop ourselves at the counter and start with the ham croquettes ($40). These have the right amount of filling and flavour, but fail when it comes to temperature, and this afflicts the subsequent dishes we chose off the chef’s menu. The scallop and mussels served in a shell ($88) has an acceptable creamy consistency and briny flavour, but its cool state was disappointing. The best dish of the evening turns out to be the lamb neck with eggplant caviar ($120). The meat is cooked perfectly and sauce reduction provides the right balance of sweet, savoury and tart. The unfortunate irony is that the dish is lukewarm even though it’s served on a hot plate, missing the satiating sweet spot it could have hit had it come straight from from the stove to our table. We finished the meal with a strawberry tartelette ($50) that manages the perfect marriage between crust and creamy filling, without being too sweet.
If you want a lively space to drink and have a few pre or post dinner nibbles, then Comptoir is a solid choice, but we wouldn’t commit to a full meal.
Comptoir 42 Forbes St, Kennedy Town, 2453 9873; french-creations.com. Dinner for two: $600
G/F 42 Forbes Street, Kennedy Town