la louisiane

go straight to the review

89 King William Street
South Australia 5000


Wednesday 5.00 pm – 12.00 am
Thursday 12 noon – 12.00 am
Friday 12 noon – 12 am
Saturday 5.00 pm – 2.00 am

Wednesday 5.00 pm – 11.00 pm
Thursday 12 noon – 3.00 pm:5.00 pm – 11.00 pm
Friday 12 noon – 3.00 pm:5.00 pm – 11.00 pm
Saturday 5.00 pm – 12.00 am

CONTACT : No phone listing

CHEF : Alexis Bessau
OWNERS : The Big Easy Group and The Gonzo Group

BE WARNED : Live loud music for evening services

2013 Perrier-Jouet Belle Époque
2019 Edouard Delaunay Vosne Romanée


dark and

We went to La Louisiane last Friday, five guests. Having worked in New Orleans twice La Louisiane is more New Orleans than it is Paris. There’s not a restaurant in New Orleans that doesn’t have music of some sort and the music varies from live jazz to live classical in the more upmarket establishments like Commanders Palace to pounding rock in the diners that open late and stay open till breakfast.

Before you go to La Louisiane you need to decide if you want to have a conversation and if the answer is yes, go somewhere else.

It is important to point out that I may have chosen not to review La Louisiane, but three dishes were just so good you’d be mad to miss them. Add to that staff both front of house and wine service were very professional and especially accommodating as two dishes were sent back to the kitchen for maintenance.

Escargots served in butter, garlic and herbs $28 were excellent, but the bread below par for the excellence of the snails. I did not know pasteurised snails were a thing and whilst they were not quite as good as fresh purged snails, they were better than any snail I had eaten in Adelaide since Cornelia Vahldieck made her exquisite fresh snail tart at the long-closed Tapas Bar in Rundle Street East in the 80s. I was almost tempted to smash the shells just in case they got used again like the disgusting tinned snails but opted to give them the benefit of the doubt. Loved the martini shot in the snail shell but, noticed the guy on the next table didn’t get one. The martini shot would have been even better if it had come straight from the freezer.

The Gruyère Cheese Soufflé $26 sublime, absolutely perfect.

[1] Loose is a term used in a professional kitchen for beef that has not been hung long enough. It has a sloppy texture that I find it quite unpleasant, especially since I know it could be so much better if given a little TLC. 


The special 1kg T-bone basically a tagliata came with Béarnaise and was ordered by one of our number and well received. I have no clue as to why anyone would want to order such a humungous piece of meat and even find a 300g steak confronting. We opted for the Steak Frites, 300g Scotch Fillet served with fries $55 and, although not listed on the menu it came with bone marrow butter and we added the Béarnaise. The Scotch needed to be hung for at the very least, for another two weeks. Unpleasantly sloppy, [loose] [1] it didn’t come close to a similar Air Aged Scotch at Otherness. You couldn’t taste the bone marrow in the bone marrow butter, and it was that miserly disk that is always insufficient for the size of the steak.

The Bèarnaise was missing most of the fine herbs, but not the worst Béarnaise I have had in Adelaide….awful frozen string chips coolish and not crisp were sent back to the kitchen.

In fairness to the chef a perfectly rare Scotch on our table was sent back because it was too rare….really! I did have some sympathy because although I love rare it is very hard to find and the guest in question when asked why she ordered rare when she clearly wanted medium rare muted that in her experience most steaks are over cooked. Both returns were handled with good grace and without argument.

Come to dessert a Crème Brûlée $18 was ordered and two Canelés the sweet special on the night. The Brûlée did have traces of vanilla seeds [rare these days] but, had none of the required silkiness and was way too sweet. We did quiz the chef if the Canelé were made with bee’s wax, the traditional butter and bees wax that is brushed onto the copper moulds to give the crispest crunchiest of paper-thin crusts and were told ‘no’ but decided to go ahead anyway. They were divine!


heritage building

dark and moody

Service and glassware are very good. Environment is funky and clever with a vague feel of the 60s jazz cellars of Europe without the impenetrable smoke haze that I bizarrely felt a bit nostalgic for.

For entrées our table also had Heirloom Beetroots with Vannela Stracciatella $22 and Smoked Trout Rillettes with Fennel Salad  $26. It is possible to think the Beef Tartare served with Pomme Gaufrette $24 and Pork and Foie Gras Pâté en Croute $24 and Signature Gruyere Burger served with fries $26 may be worth a try. If you want to play it safe, stick to the recommendations. Often these days a selection of entrées is a better way to enjoy an establishment than selecting a main course.

Not being a lunch person, I’ll go back for dinner to enjoy these three great dishes and I may be tempted to add another couple from my suggestions above. I will be dining  by myself, so I don’t have to shout to have a conversation and instead of wine might do the Louisiana thing and have a couple of cocktails.

We had been warned that there was a line up for evening service, however, on a Friday night at about 7.00 pm there was no such thing, and we were taken straight to a table. I noticed that at no stage was the second dining room full. Whilst La Louisiane does not have the feel of a clumsy large restaurant space, it is a very large restaurant with two main dining rooms plus more high stool seating in front of the music and bar and more banquette booths to the side of the bar. Staff did say it was the quietest night they had had so far, but I suspect that the initial rush to try something new may have worn off and would not let the idea of ‘no reservations’ put you off from the evening service.

Bookings are available for lunch, but the dark moodiness of La Louisiane is best suited to the night.


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