The 2012 Geelong Sprints have come and gone, and it looks like the event was some sort of success. I hope so, it's the sort of classic car showcase/raceday that Australia needs more of.
Anyway, it's a cold, cold Sunday for December, there are thousands of people milling about the Corio foreshore, unrestricted engines are screaming as cars are launched down the track, and I'm desperate for a decent feed.
All dining options down here appear to be bursting at the seams, with punters queuing for tables, until we stumble on a dining room that is almost empty. It looks good, everyone in our group is keen, so we give it a go.
It quickly becomes apparent why the place is empty - we've obviously lobbed into Geelong's most expensive restaurant. But, what the hell, we're hungry and tired and the restaurant is totally immune from the mayhem outside. It's really quiet, and our table has a great view across the bay.
The upshot is that this place is a mile in front before we even get going. I'm sitting down for the first time in five hours, I've got an ice-cold beer in the claw, and everything doesn't stink of racing fuel - This is as good as it's going to get in Geelong today.
So, on with the show. There were six of us dining, and I think that everyone was pretty satisfied with the outcome. Although the food was bog-standard French bistro fare, it was well executed. My duck was nicely cooked, although the much touted "Grand Marnier" sauce was more like "Grand Minimal" (both in quantity and in its grand marnierishness). Fantastic French Fries, however, saved the day, as these always generate a few extra brownie points from me.
The service was OK, although there was really not much of a challenge here for the staff, given the very small number of diners.
The atmosphere, however, was perfect (especially given the circumstances described in the preamble), and our group had a truly relaxing couple of hours at Le Parisien.
So . . . where's the downside here? All said, I suppose it's only the price, but in this case it's a fatal flaw. These guys are charging too much for the food that's on offer, and they are seriously out of step with the mark-up on their wines. They don't have a bad little wine list, but they are screwing the punters blind on price.
At the end of the day, Le Parisien is let down by the value equation. Maybe they have a semi-captive audience in Geelong and can get away with it, but the fact is that for these prices you would expect much, much more, just an hour up the road, in Melbourne.
So, the best I can stump up for Le Parisien is a 3 rating, even though we had a very pleasant and relaxing Sunday lunch here. Pity.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.