601 King St
Newtown, NSW 2042

Pistou bills itself as a rustic deli-but-also-restaurant, and that pretty much sums the entire place up (though I’d argue it also has some great wine bar vibes). The comfy, homely space is choc-a-bloc with produce and wine, and their cheese and charcuterie cabinet is… a lot. It’s awful tempting just to get a plate of 6 cheeses and meats and make a meal of it, but some consideration must be given to the daily specials, which augments the menu of share plates and snacks. The service is also phenomenal, with upbeat staff that don’t miss a single trick, all whilst being charming to boot. Two lovely hours slipped by before I even noticed it had started getting dark outside.

Rating: 14/20 – rustic city boob.
Must-order: the wonderful cheese and charcuterie platters.
Good to know: don’t bother ordering bread; they will give you plenty if your dish calls for it.

Comte ($21)/Truffle & Squid Ink Salami ($20)

There’s a lot of choice in the cheese and charcuterie department; so much that they’ll even make up a chef’s selection of six varieties that could easily be a meal for two. But we stuck with the sweet yet nutty Comte ($21), and the special of Truffle & Squid Ink Salami ($20) with its hypnotic pattern, and a gentle earthiness to accompany the rich porky flavour. Extra props to the condiments; it’s the absolute worst when a grazing platter isn’t built properly, but this has a great variety of house-made breads, crackers, and accompaniments that keeps each bite interesting. Special shoutout to the fennel-flavoured pickles.

Squid, Confit Chilli & Garlic, Mallorquina ($26)

The Squid, Confit Chilli & Garlic, Mallorquina ($26) is a hearty, peasant styled stew served on a thick trencher of sourdough, the spreadable Spanish chorizo and spices melting together to make for a beguilingly deep and smoky sauce. And the squid? Most tender I’ve ever had.

Mussels Poulette, Mallorquina ($31)

I didn’t realise until after I had ordered it that the Mussels Poulette, Mallorquina ($31) was cooked in a similar sauce to the squid, but no matter – it really is a very delicious sauce. This time around, the sausage is melted into a cream base that makes for a deliciously rich and meaty counterpart to the sweet, plump mussels. Make sure you mop the remainder up with some sourdough, which they are very generous with here.

Duck Breast, Cauliflower, Currant & Pine Nut Salsa ($38)

To round things out was a lovely bit of Duck Breast, Cauliflower, Currant & Pine Nut Salsa ($38), which was cooked to juicy pink perfection, and full of festive flavours.

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  • Reply Catie 28/12/2022 at 12:43 pm

    Why only 14/20? From the review it sounds like you really enjoyed it and everything was good? Just wondering where it lost points!

    • ming
      Reply ming 28/12/2022 at 10:53 pm

      Hi Catie, great question! When I rank restaurants, beyond say… a 12/20 or so, it’s not so much about losing points as it is about what it doesn’t have compared to the better places. Like you said, I definitely enjoyed Pistou quite a lot, and there wasn’t any major flaws to anything. However it just feels a bit inaccurate of me to rate it a 19/20, because it doesn’t leave room for the truly remarkable places, and it makes it hard to differentiate between ‘normal good’ and ‘excellent good’, if you get what I mean. For me, my scores roughly equate to:

      less than 10: absolutely terrible, I rarely give this score
      10-12: it’s fine, don’t regret going but wouldn’t go again
      12-14: worth a visit
      14-16: very good, best of its kind
      16-18: excellent all round, would always recommend
      18+: truly unique and flawless experience, nothing else like it

      • Reply Catie 29/12/2022 at 1:45 pm

        Ah that makes sense, thank you! I re-read the review when I saw the rating and was just finding it hard to see any negatives. But that is perfectly reasonable – some places are solid but just don’t have that Je Ne Sais Quoi :P

        Keep up the great content, I’m a long time reader (first time commenter!)

        • ming
          Reply ming 30/12/2022 at 1:42 pm

          Your comment absolutely made my day! Thank you for sticking with the blog, and it’s always great to hear from a reader! :)

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