Pop culture : Dine with Dari : Curly Whiskers

Dari has once again been out and about in search of culinary gems. This time her travels take her to Brighton, where quaint French bistro Curly Whiskers offers a delightful menu

The name itself is cute, quirky and oddly peculiar, in a fun way, as intended. This little pocket in Brighton is pumping on a warm evening, and neatly tucked on the street is this little French bistro. Walking inside is like stepping foot into a great auntie’s kitchen – wafting and tantalising smells of butter, cream and robust spices. An open bench displays gorgeous colourful produce, while soft, smooth, classic French music adds a bit of chic and makes you feel a bit curly. The hosts are sweet as pie, proudly boasting the venue’s divine local producers. 


Lamb brain croquettes

Slow-cooked lamb shoulder

Tallow-glazed pear & chestnut strudel

Foodwise, the chef’s French-style cooking is rustic and wholesome. A ‘little lamb dinner’ may include a starter of rillettes served on toasted sourdough bread, interestingly matched with a shot of oaked whey vodka. It’s cool and different. Lamb brain croquettes definitely throw in that curly. The offal is encased in a crunchy crumb and served with heirloom salad leaves dressed in gin vinaigrette. Highlight of highlight is the slow-cooked lamb shoulder. The soft tenderised meat melts apart with every bite, thanks to the ewe buttermilk. Served with spring seasonal veggies, this wholesome divine dish goes so magnificently with the French Côtes du Rhône. A pleasant dessert may be a pear and lamb fat strudel with silky whipped ewe curd and chestnutty richness. For a point of difference, it’s matched with a perplexing vanilla whey liqueur from Tassie. 


Bottom line: An evening at Curly Whiskers is exactly as it sounds, cute, sweet and that little bit curly.


Curly Whiskers

3/124 Martin Street, Brighton VIC 3186

(03) 9596 3324