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“Excellent food, service and experience” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Petit Snail

The Petit Snail
Ranked #14 of 184 Restaurants in Byron Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$13 - US$36
Cuisines: French, European
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special Occasion Dining, Local cuisine, Child-friendly
Dining options: After-hours, Dinner, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Digital Payments, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: Traditional French Cuisine. All-French staff. Affordable French and Australian wine list. Fully licensed. Gift vouchers available.Vegetarian and gluten-free friendly. We hereby certify that ALL testimonies are genuine, unlike some of our competitors, who need to improve their rating, we have not bought testimonies from any dubious websites.. Extensive range of French wines and BELGIAN BEERS. NOW OPEN FOR LUNCH SATURDAY AND SUNDAY
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Excellent food, service and experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 July 2014

We had dinner here for my birthday and it was a fabulous experience. The food, wine and service were excellent and the owners were very friendly and came to chat to us at the end of our meal. A great birthday dinner!

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Yetibfroggy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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373 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    286
    45
    22
    10
    10
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Byron Bay, Australia
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Excellent”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 June 2014

I thought this restaurant was excellent. I held a dinner for 10 here and we were made welcome by the owners Chauby and Igor as well as the wait staff (Damien). The food was exotic and fabulous. It was a great night.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Andrew C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Byron Bay, Australia
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A trip to Paris!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 June 2014

This is our favorite restaurant, it is like a trip to Paris for an evening, with the most welcoming service possible. We've been treated like family members from our first visit. It's a warming festive event every night and you'll hear singing and laughter from other guests. Our kids (4 and 1) both devour whatever is served like it was their favorite meal and then happily fall asleep! Dining experiences as genuine as this is quite hard to find. The food is easily the best traditional french in this country, it is amazing how well Igor has recreated dishes like the bouillabaisse with local seafood and produce. We have eaten in many hatted restaurants throughout the french countryside and Le Petit Snail is definitely THAT good! The expertise and skill of Igor is an endless menu of french flavor tradition. Le petit Snail is easily the first restaurant I would recommend!

  • Visited June 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Martin E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“A piece of France in Byron Bay”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 June 2014

Perfect French bistrot food. You step in, you' re in France, step out, back to Australia!
Food is not inventive, but simple bistrot food cooked perfectly.
Had great provencal snails and crispy duck for dinner.
Chf and waiter from Lyon. Typical burgundy!
Best in Byron bay. Second to none.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Guilherme S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
33 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“the emperor has no clothes on”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 May 2014

Friends joined us for this visit to Byron and this was their wish.
Disclosure - this is my second visit. My expectations were lower. My mind was open - given the many reviews. I thought I must have missed something the first time.
Again we spent over $150 a head. Did the dishes deliver? Duck that was dry, scallops that weren't tender. Was anything really outstanding? How did we feel about the overbearing hostess? Does a few free olives, some glace between courses (barely a few dollars on a bill over $600) really excuse some poor food and create good value? The draughty shop, tired tables and chairs? (Reminded me of the play- Summer of the 17th Doll and suspending reality and substituting a wish for nostalgia and an experience). And then being made to feel decidedly unwelcome by hosts who having snapped up our money wanted to switch off the light, stop paying staff and close up. (Here is a hospitality rule - if you accept later bookings - you need to allow the guests the time to rest after dinner and complete their experience).

There is clearly a niche for a good French restaurant in Byron.
But this is a money machine, a bit of a "mini theme park" and the passing tourist trade in Byron seems to be a good target. The remarkable success of the hosts seems to be to convince their guests that we are getting something special, that the ingredients are expensive and they are consistent in their service. But some serious money didnt buy the real thing - genuine hospitality and real service, quality consistent dishes, a pleasant setting.
On this occasion the friends we dined with had lived in France for 5 years. They were very polite and tried to mask their evident disappointment. Their embarrassment having pressed us to choose the Petit Snail was palpable. We all made excuses for the evening as no one wanted to say it had been a dud especially given we could have picked a different restaurant. It was a lost opportunity and it is not just the money (and believe me it is expensive), it is that we didn't have an occasion - and a wonderful memory of this evening together.
I think my partner nailed it - if you stand back from the marketing spin by the hosts - you are left with a run down tired space, an overpriced menu, one or two tasty gems amongst generally indifferent and indeed some very poor food, and a disappointing pricey wine list.

i feel like the small child in the crowd who cries out "but the emperor has no clothes on"

  • Visited April 2014
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
8 Thank Karin D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Igor A, Owner at The Petit Snail, responded to this review, 27 May 2014
Dear Karin,

there are so many discrepencies in your testimony that I have my doubts as to its genuineness.
Spending $150 a head is virtually impossible in our restaurant and to be sure we have reviewed all the bills from January and have not found one where 4 people ate for $600 !!! It would only be possible if you had drank 2 bottles of our finest Champagne and 4 glasses of our 45 years old Armagnac as well as the most expensive dishes on our menu...
Now free olives have not been served for more than one year, we now prepare special mise en bouche which change every night; so I don't know where you got the olives from, but not from me that's for sure, I don't keep any in the restaurant.
Nice litterary comment about our furniture, but it is very different in style to "Summer of the 17th doll" and just for your information, we bought all new furnitures (tables, chairs and cushions) new when we opened 6 years ago and we are buying new ones all the time to replace aging ones. However, our outdoor space is Council land and it is not flat, so tables need wedges to be stabilised.
We have never pushed any customer away towards the end of service. In fact as confirmed by a large number of testimonies we actually encourage people to stay on later than they expected.
Being accused of targeting the tourist trade was a real laugh for me ! We have deliberately chosen to hide in a side street, our front sign is poorly lit and we do not spend any money advertising. We rely almost exclusively on word of mouth. And where we are located there is simply NO passing trade. We open 4 nights a week and to be sure we take our yearly vacation when our children are on holiday !!! This should certainly say what we stand for !!!
You certainly write well, but your facts do not add up, so I assume that you must be working for the competition !
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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