Bonjour, mon petit chou-fleur*! Welcome to the unbelievably scientific guide to drinking like a Parisian in Sydney. Quoi? I hear you ask. Is this a thing? It is indeed. It’s really quite simple, just find a French-ish restaurant or bar in Sydney, and commence drinking. Of course, you can always put on a fake accent and haw-haw-haw while you’re there. Up to you. As always, bring your festive spirit at these classy establishments, and raise a French toast to your nearest and dearest. Nope? Okay.
Unless you’ve been hiding in your fridge for the better part of a year, you’ll no doubt have heart of this joint and its stellar wine list, lick-the-plate chicken fricassee, and finger-click inducing live music. In short, Restaurant Hubert has made a bigger splash than I do when I jump into a pool *raises eyebrows*. Try to get a late seating if you can, because this place is searingly popular and you don’t want to rush through a wonderful wine and an amazing band. Also, it’s absolutely mandatory to put on an accent and pronounce it as ooohh-beaarrrr. You just said that out loud, didn’t you? Nice one.
Ah, voila! Bar Chinois, with its je ne sais quoi. That being the fusion of East meets West in the form of a French-Asian fusion bar in where Kensington Street and Spice Alley meet with eye-catching cocktails and a delicious menu to match. The food? Try out their kimchi pomme frites with gruyere cheese for a nibble, or go all out with the croque monsieur. For the early birds, there’s a très bon brunch menu, complete with wasabi bloody mary and caramelised banana crepe with bacon and lemon sorbet, so… Yeah.
Café Ananas is the height of French sophistication in Sydney. We know this because of its signature pineapple motif, a symbol of wealth in le olde days. I think. Regardless, this light-filled, non-touristy Circular Quay restaurant is the ideal spot for sipping Champagne while nibbling on a cheese plate that won’t make you fat. Is that the rule in Sydney French restaurants as well? It is now. Be sure to take advantage of the magnifique ladies who lunch menu, complete with three courses of Frenchy goodness and, undoubtedly, good times galore.
The best things in the world get their best-ness (totes a word) from being many things at once. And Garçon, sitting happily in the trendy Tramsheds at Harold Park, hits every single criteria on our ‘What counts as Parisian’ list, because it nails the cafe by day, wine and charcuterie by night thing, and nails it well. There’s a lot to be said for a place that handles the day through night transition like a pro. I know a wise person, so I asked her about this gem and its French-ness. She gushed, “It has those Parisian wicker chairs that face outwards for people watching. You know the ones?” Yes, oh wise one, I do. And so too does everyone reading this article. Here’s the moral of the story, kids: life’s better when there’s wine, cheese, and people watching involved.
Felix Bar & Bistro
Don’t worry, Monsieur Felix, I haven’t forgotten about you and your chic, Balthazar New York vibe. Of course, everyone will be able to trust the good sports at Merivale to present a fabulous French bistro vibe that doesn’t have a stick up its derrière. A French negroni is compulsory while you’re here, as is having a gander at the cold seafood bar before selecting a few oysters to whet your appetite. If it’s a warm evening, take yourself for a little stroll through Ash Street afterwards, and pretend you’re gliding through the streets of Paris—before braving George Street.
*Yes, I just greeted you as a little cauliflower. Yes, it’s the perfect salutation, and yes, and you may use it again. Au revoir, mes aimes!
Keep the Parisian theme going here with our favourite French restaurants in Sydney.
Image credit: Bar Chinois