French Saloon

4.6
243 reviews
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$41 to $100
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European
Top tags:
  • Special Occasions
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for a Date
Climb the narrow flight of stairs up from the red brick lane to enter the saloon. A room that is at once spacious, open and rambling, one side lined by a wall of windows, the other a splendid bar of long fluted zinc; counterpoint to the perfectly proportioned, intimate beauty of its little brother downstairs.

Spanning the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, French Saloon borrows from the decadence and familiarity of the Parisian bar & bistro, while finding common ground with the enjoyment of raucous company and a sense of mischief. Start with Champagne and caviar at the bar, progress with steak tartare and bottles of Burgundy. A dining room to some, a bar for well-made cocktails and snacks for others – above all, a room for good fun and a party.

Private Dining

Our award winning menu designed by our executive Chef Ian Curley, accommodates serious boardroom dinners, as well as beautiful long family lunches. An extensive wine list and welcoming, savvy staff make hosting an event with us effortless.

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What 243 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
Food
4.6
Service
4.5
Ambience
4.2
Value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
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Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 3Food 3Service 5Ambience 5

We found the steak a bit chewy; excellent service by Mathew. Wine list good and great bar outside on the deck which was well heated.

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OT
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

French Saloon will never fail you for a romantic dinner. The service was outstanding, you are truely welcomed to feel like home. Even if you want to change bits and pieces of the set menu, they would always try their best to accomodate you. Every dish tastes so delicious along with good wine, And you will be even more pleased with a very reasonable price. One of my very few favourite restaurants in Melbourne.

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GR
1 review
Dined on 17 May 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

We were visiting Melbourne from Sydney and had been recommended to French Saloon. This was a pre-theatre dinner at 5.30pm before seeing part 2 of Harry Potter (Tonka the previous night). The main dining room here is traditional bistro style with timber floors and minimal decoration - the real focus here is on the food and wine. We shared Clyde River oysters with horseradish - not too much to overpower the oysters, but enough to give them a lift - they were plump and fresh. These were followed by a fantastic deconstructed cassoulet - the duck breast was served separately with just a little rich stock, the beans, hock & sausage served as a side dish - fantastic flavours with just a hint of star anise. We were served by Emily who was professional and friendly (is this a Melbourne thing?) and who made some excellent wine suggestions. The dessert menu looked a little uninspiring so we passed on that - but this restaurant will be on top of my list when we next visit Melbourne.

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JM
1 review
Dined on 16 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Fantastic food coupled with excellent sevice. This is one of our favourite restaurants in Melbourne at the moment.

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m
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 16 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

amazing. best restaurant in melbourne. Catered for my vegetarian friend! The food was simple but full of flavour. Good wine list. Attentive and lovely staff. Felt like l was back in Paris

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JH
1 review
Dined on 10 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 4

Fantastic steak and wine. For a place that can be challenging to find, lots seem to have found it.

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RK
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 10 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great Service and the food was impeccable , one of my favourite restaurants in Melbourne

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CM
1 review
Dined on 2 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Brilliant restaurant tucked away nicely upstairs on the corner of Hardware Lane. Absolutely delicious food, wine and excellent service. Great ambiance inside makes for a great dining experience.

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SM
1 review
Dined on 30 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Wow such a gorgeous setting, beautiful food, fabulous service - I was transported to a bistro in Paris love love loved it:)

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l
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 26 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Brilliant French Restaurant with lovely staff to attend to your needs and assist with your thoughts on the menu. We had a guest who was allergic to specific item and they made sure she would be fine. The food was stunning and the wine pairing perfect. Highly recommended

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GC
Perth / WA
32 reviews
Dined on 26 April 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Nice food and wine. Shared menu was not expected and expensive for the food. Wine was expensive for the quality

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AX
1 review
Dined on 23 April 2019
Overall 2Food 3Service 2Ambience 3

Nothing special and a bottle of the sparkling water was more than $10 which doesn't taste authentic. Make sure you ask the bottle with the cap sealed to be delivered to your table and open it by yourself.

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OT
Melbourne / VIC
2 reviews
Dined on 15 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Our waitress was happy, friendly and very knowledgeable.
She recommended a special and it was amazing! Very enjoyable experience and amazing food! We will definitely be back next trip.

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OT
1 review
Dined on 12 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

French Saloon was outstanding, the cured Wagu was to die for

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R
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 12 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

A little gem that’s easy to miss if looking for it from the street. The food was superb - I can’t think of one dish that was a let down - and came with great service too. It’s not your usual tightly packed French bistrô, it’s spacious and not noisy, so easy to have a conversation without having to shout. Fantastic entrees and starters, a small but beautifully prepared set of mains - the roast chicken was beautifully moist and moorish - and you finish with fantastic desserts. The tasting menu for $70 per person is great value, and you get to try quite s few dishes with it, including the lovely petit fours at the end. Make sure to leave some space for the salted caramel madeleine. I recommend the place highly.

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RC
1 review
Dined on 10 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Another wonderful meal at the French Saloon. I love how easy they make everything for you. From the moment you walk in your are made to feel like you are the only person that matter. A fabulous night. My fav dish was the bone marrow on toast.. YUM

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AC
London
1 review
Dined on 9 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Great French fusion International/Gourmet food, nice wine list

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SR
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 8 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

We opted for four course and matching wines. Wonderful amount of food, gorgeous interesting wine choices.
A couple of staff appeared quite bored but it was a quiet night.
Great service delivery and efficiency.
I would have liked food to be presented a little slower if on a weekend as each course was presented directly after the one before with no break which is needed for a four course dine.
Overall will be back it was a refreshing, light and modern service of French cuisine and I have already recommended it to others

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SP
1 review
Dined on 1 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Went to French Saloon for my partner's birthday dinner and had a wonderful time. The food was delicious and the service was excellent.

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SN
Sydney / NSW
3 reviews
Dined on 1 April 2019
Overall 3Food 4Service 2Ambience 4

Lovely atmosphere. Music was at perfect level, suited the restaurant.
Food good.
If you have Steak Frites, make sure you ask how you want it cooked as it comes out Medium/Rare.
(I would have asked for Medium)
Lovely Salad and great Fries.
Service lacked somewhat as we had to get attention of wait-staff on several occasions.
Worth a visit for sure.

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GH
Melbourne / VIC
5 reviews
Dined on 26 March 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 2Ambience 2

Was a bit disappointed with the value, service and noise levels. The steak frites and roquefort sauce was just too strongly flavoured for me, and the $19 glass of pinot noir not that amazing. The waitress didn't suggest to our friends that they should have ordered a side dish. A bit pricey for what it was. I like the layout and style of the restaurant but way too noisy (we were there on a Tuesday night). I havent planned to return or recommend this place unfortunately.

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MH
1 review
Dined on 22 March 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Great food and Tamara was excellent. Knowledge of wine and food suggestions were professional and informative

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C
1 review
Dined on 21 March 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Always great
Ambiance, people, food, company. Couldn't ask for more

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MC
1 review
Dined on 15 March 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

French Saloon never fails to deliver. Incredible produce cooked beautifully every single time, lovely friendly service and a relaxed, light and bright European atmosphere nestled into the hustle and bustle of the CBD.

Melissa Chen, Founder of Mill's Kitchen

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J
1 review
Dined on 13 March 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great restaurant. The layout is particularly fantastic as the tables are evenly spaced and the food was delicious.

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CR
1 review
Dined on 7 March 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We had a fab lunch and loved every second. Can’t wait to come again with a little more time to enjoy everything!

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AW
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 5 March 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

The food is always excellent, the service always professional. I never feel cramped & I can hear my fellow diners - one of my favourites!

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DB
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 4 March 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 3Ambience 3

The French Saloon has some appealing features. The food is good, prepared by a technically competent kitchen. The light-filled dining room is a pleasure to be in, but the noise can be a problem if large groups are also in the room. The let down -- but note this is a widespread problem in Melbourne -- comes with thimble-sized serves of wine at hefty prices. It is no longer worth buying wine by the glass in Melbourne restaurants anymore. Restauranters are a bit dim on the wine front. Australia is a wine lake, full of excellent wines at very good prices. At home drinking has never been better. It is ridiculous to pay for a glass of wine, when the same sum can buy a whole bottle of quality wine from the Clare or Barossa valleys.

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b
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on 22 February 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 4Ambience 3

Just ok food and wine, especially for the price.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 20 February 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

Beautiful food, nice ambiance, hidden gem! Oysters were delicious as well as the trout.

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AG
1 review
Dined on 1 February 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Love this place, one of the nicest restaurant spaces in Melbourne with food to match.
Forget about the other better known French restaurants in Melbourne, this is the number 1.

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LT
Melbourne / VIC
2 reviews
Dined on 21 December 2018
Overall 3Food 4Service 3Ambience 4

Fantastic steak tartare but the service was only ok, not that welcoming and it would have been nice to be offered a complimentary glass of champagne when a bottle of champagne was dropped on the floor and consequently soaked us!!

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OT
1 review
Dined on 21 December 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 3Ambience 5

Our second visit to French Saloon - and I would still recommend it again.

The ambience was great but the food and service didn’t match the perfect experience I had on the first visit. Granted it was a busy Friday night before Christmas, and my last visit was on a much quieter Wednesday night in October.

The service fell short in two areas.

1. TABLE SERVICE.
Our waiter, although pleasant and capable, wasn’t completely switched on and didn’t give the same charming and engaging service I had on the previous visit in October. We were served by multiple waiters (probably because our guests were flagging down anyone they could for service) however the communication between staff was not up to speed and we had waiters ask repeat questions.

2. MAÎTRE DE
We arrived with bags, umbrellas and jackets - all of which we had to ask for the maître D to take. When we got up to leave (after paying) we had to get our own jackets, bags and umbrellas - which required disturbing other guests to squeeze past to the area they were stored. This felt slightly embarrassing and we felt a little neglected on departure.

The food was next to perfect. My only disappointment was the Burrata dish wasn’t as creamy as last time. Was it served too cold? It didn’t ooze out everywhere when opened.

Overall it was a fabulous experience though next time we will pick a quieter evening and hope the food and service return to the standard we received in October.

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E
London
4 reviews
Dined on 19 December 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Food is always first class at French Saloon, a gem of a restaurant

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JC
Melbourne / VIC
6 reviews
Dined on 11 December 2018
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 4

Open Table messed up and I was assigned a table that did not exist. They squeezed me in but I had to eat rapidly in order to free up the table since my reservation was not good. They were very apologetic and the food was excellent but I did not get value for money since I was rushed. They gave me a free drink.

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VH
1 review
Dined on 7 December 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

On a hot Friday it was delightful to enter the high ceilings of the French Saloon. While the ceiling fans moved the air I was immediately given water and a thirst quenching aperitif was suggested.
Entree and main course were lovely and beautifully presented. I thought the dessert of strawberries and cream was not worth the money.
Attentive and knowledgeable staff and a great wine list.

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OT
Mexico City
2 reviews
Dined on 6 December 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 3

Delicious food . Fantastic personalised service. The only downer was the acoustics of the resturant . It’s too noisy. Hard to have conversations without yelling across the table .

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LH
1 review
Dined on 30 November 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Great restaurant, have been here 5 times in the last 18 months. For both client lunches/dinners and more recently for a date night. Everything is exceptional about this place, the food is to die for and the menu constantly changes. Every time I've not bothered to choose my own food, as the wait staff are skilled at selecting on your behalf if you just want to soak it all in. The only 'downside' is the noise level, which can get a little overwhelming when it's full (most of the time). But aside from that I absolutely love this place.

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BM
Jacksonville
2 reviews
Dined on 29 November 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

A beautiful space - ambient - french music - beautiful flowers - excellent service - delicious food and wine!

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BT
Adelaide / SA
5 reviews
Dined on 28 November 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

The room is light and comfortable with a stunning long bar imported from Paris, omnipresent staff and a calm minimal chic. My rock oysters were delightful, the ceviche beautiful and a little progressive. But there's a reason Steak Frites is a classic and here you will rediscover why. This was a simple dish superbly cooked and in its somewhat humble understated presentation nearing bistro perfection. A special comment about the quality of staff here and superb caviar and cheese menus I was not prepared to explore fully without company (which I will return soon to do).

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