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Chez Crix

The Cricketers Arms was long overdue for a solid dining option and it has finally got it with Chez Crix.
By Suz Tucker
March 31, 2023
By Suz Tucker
March 31, 2023

Surry Hills' beloved drinking establishment and local institution The Cricketers Arms has welcomed a winning new update to the dining room. Head up the stairs from the boisterous revelry of the always-jammed front bar to find Chez Crix, a bistro with unpretentious but beautifully-executed French-leaning food and a predictably excellent drinks offering including a forward thinking wine list focused on natural and low-intervention drops and killer martinis.

The evolution of Chez Crix has been a collaborative effort from long-time owner Dominic Juillet, Head Chef Antoine Vassallo and and General Manager and drinks list curator Jackson Duxbury (formerly of The Agrarian Kitchen and Franklin Hobart). And the result is a laid-back dining room with a frisky atmosphere where the service is warm and effortlessly efficient.

Duxbury sums it up perfectly: "Our community, and the legacy of the Cricketers Arms, is certainly at the forefront. We talk a lot about the sense of ownership long-term patrons hold of the venue — it's the people's pub. For years, this place (certainly downstairs), has felt like an extension of people's living rooms. We hope Chez Crix feels like an extension of their dining room."

While the feel of the room does indeed have a casual dinner party vibe, the food is several notches beyond what the average person can achieve on a Friday night in the home kitchen. Antoine Vassallo has pulled together a menu of approachable hits like a gorgeously juicy roast chicken with jus gras and steak frites with Bordelaise sauce, and the house-made chicken liver parfait (to be ordered with a chewy baguette) might just be the pick of the menu.

The wine list is firmly focused on natural wines and the entries traverse the globe with selections from across Australia, Europe and beyond. If you're perpetually wine-curious or just plain indecisive, leave your choices in the hands of Duxbury and the floor staff who'll delight you with a compelling selection by the glass or bottle.

Chez Crix is the restaurant the Cricketers Arms deserves and has been long overdue for. Booking is very much recommended as the venue has been full-to-overflowing ever since it opened.

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