749 Mount View Rd, Mount View
02 4990 9553
Robert Molines has created an empire from his passion for French cooking and a dream of sharing his country’s cuisine with the world.
Now settled in the Hunter Valley, Robert and his wife Sally operate Bistro Molines, a restaurant that quickly gained a loyal following and a string of accolades.
Robert moved to Australia in the 1960s after an extensive culinary education in the south of France. In Australia, he continued his exploration of food, working at restaurants in Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney. His first restaurant, which he opened in 1972, started his legacy of opening quality French restaurants. In 1973 newly married Robert and Sally moved to the Hunter Valley and began a number of successful ventures. In 2008, they opened Bistro Molines at Tallavera Grove to help continue the gastronomic growth of the region.
Bistro Molines has allowed Robert to stay in touch with his French roots; the very French menu is created using classical French techniques and only the freshest ingredients – what isn’t grown in the restaurant garden is sourced from the market. The kitchen team creates almost everything from scratch, including the bread, pastry and desserts, and they are also talented in the craft of butchery. To Robert, creating everything yourself is an integral part of success.
The small family of chefs is a well-oiled machine, with Robert at the helm. Robert is joined by Garreth Robbs, who has been at Bistro Molines for six years and during this time, has developed his own passion for the journey of food.
The team injects a passion and experience for all things French into the seasonal menu. Although it changes frequently, customers can expect entree options such as baked gorgonzola-stuffed figs wrapped in prosciutto; and pan-fried quail with French lentils, Cotechino sausage and chestnut sauce.
Offerings for mains may include the twice-roasted Hunter duckling on braised cabbage with orange glaze; or the venison noisettes with roasted beetroot, baby broad beans and blackcurrant jus. Dessert is always fresh and flavoursome, with seasonal fruits like pears, apples and quinces starring in most dishes. For those with a savoury palate, there’s also a rotating selection of cheeses.
The wine list is extensive with bottles from all over the world and, naturally, an array of Hunter Valley drops. While the restaurant does not boast a single sommelier, the helpful and knowledgeable staff, who have been educated in the world of wine, can suggest a drop to pair with each dish. It’s here that Sally’s expertise shines – as the general manager, she ensures the service, decor and atmosphere is always of a premium standard.
The tables in the light-filled restaurant are adorned with crisp white linen cloths and vases of beautiful, fresh flowers created by Sally. The atmosphere is best described by Robert himself: ‘It is not a room, but a sea of space filled with tables; it’s like having lunch at your grandmother’s house, the only thing that’s missing is your grandmother!’