But of a quick review. Finally managed to get to Philippe as an end of year meal with Mrs_G after being on the list for a while. For those who don't follow these things, "Philippe" is Philippe Mouchel, who was head chef for Paul Bocuse in Melbourne and stayed when it closed. This is his latest incarnation; it's in a cursed basement off Collins Street that has been home to Fifteen, the something or other Cat, Brooks, Brooks mkII and now Philippe.
The menu is shortish and reads a bit bistro, but this kitchen can cook. They have a rotisserie used to good effect (another Mouchel trademark) with duck, chicken, lamb and a pork-of-the-day plus a few other bits and pieces. Saucing is outstanding, and my lazy order of wagyu with bearnaise (and chips) was superbly cooked; but Mrs_G's lamb showed much more precise technique.
Wine list is well chosen, with a couple of obviously friendly winemakers supplying direct to keep markups down. No bargains, but no ripoffs either, with some good stuff by the glass.
I suspect it will be pigeon-holed as a bit stuffy (it is, the maitre d' was wearing a three piece suit) and dated (which it isn't). Prices are pretty close to suburban French bistro with much better execution. This restaurant is a masterclass in classical technique.
Mr_G's tip for the frugal: you can eat oysters at the bar between 5 and 7pm for a dollar each and they are the same oysters the tables get for $45/dozen.