Now Open: Experience Culinary Flights with British and Australian Influences at Novotel City Centre's Birdie Bar and Brasserie

Come for the Fremantle octopus, stay for the epic garlic bread at this lush Bird-themed bistro and bar.
Orlaith Costello
Published on February 14, 2024

If you're a garlic girlie, then you should make your way to the fresh eatery located in the foyer of the recently opened Novotel City Centre on York Street: Birdie Bar and Brasserie. The new spot boasts a fusion of British and modern Australian fare on its menu that champions local produce and celebrates Aussie fauna of the feathered variety.

The charming space has an avian theme throughout, from its colourful wallpaper and nest lampshades to its cocktail list. British Head Chef John Lyons is at the helm of the kitchen. Lyons cut his teeth working in Michelin-starred and AA Rosettes-earning establishments back in the UK, and now he's here to put his own stamp on Sydney's hospo scene with a menu best described as playful with plenty of British elements, and with local suppliers and producers championed throughout.

"We are proud to embrace and showcase many local artisan suppliers on Birdie's menu, from the local ingredients Lon's creatively combines on our plates to the breweries and distilleries we partner with," says the venue's Director of Food and Beverage, Ben Nicholls.

Birdie Bar and Brasserie The Duck

The Duck

Some menu items that exemplify this philosophy are the Fremantle octopus with koji sourced from Keiko Ikeda in Bondi, and the black sesame dessert, which is a take on a classic British sponge cake and includes the rare citrus fruit poorman's orange, which has been resurrected by Peter Dryden in Gordon. And it wouldn't be a British spot without Sunday roast with all the trimmings, including the mandatory Yorkshire puddings and lashings of gravy.

"Birdie tells a tale of time through food, which we have proudly brought to life with spices and herbs sourced from Birdie's travels around the world. I can't wait for people to dine in this alluring atmosphere and try our dishes, especially those where we've had some fun to create something truly unique," says Lyons.

Birdie Bar and Brasserie John Lyons

Head Chef John Lyons

You can tell Lyons and his team are having a lot of fun with this menu, with entrées like The Duck — duck liver parfait shaped into two little duckies — and the cheeky The Bird — bumps of caviar Paris with shots of Grey Goose vodka in wooden shot cups and a polaroid snap of you and your dining guest. Don't leave without trying the garlic bread that does not skimp on the butter, garlic or bread — lots of texture and plenty of garlic flavour.

The mains don't skimp on flavour either, with options like the equally garlic-forward allium risotto with comte and chervil, the massive one-kilogram t-bone steak with a side of house-made mustard (of course), and smoked ocean trout with cucumber and horseradish. The fun continues on the dessert menu, with the not-so-appetisingly named Dogs Dinner, which literally comes plated in a dog's bowl and features chocolate "kibble", mini biscuits, moose and nuts with an oat biscuit in the shape of a bone.

Birdie Bar and Brasserie Freemantle Octopus

Freemantle Octopus

If you can't decide on your mains, there is a chef's choice menu called Canary in a Coal Mine — a minimum of four people required — that features eight plates to share from the mains, sides and desserts. The portions are big, so you definitely won't be going hungry for days. You can level up this chef's choice with a pairing for four drinks for $30 per person.

The drinks menu takes the venue's theme to a new level with each inspired by a Aussie native bird. There's the Sulpher-Crested Cockatoo, with gin lemon, meringue foam, and shortbread crumble; the Satin Bowerbird, with Irish whiskey, lemon, blackberry and hibiscus; and the Galah, with strawberry gin, guava liqueur and sparkling rosé. Each cocktail comes with a cute description of the beverage, with the bird theme extending into these stories. The wine list includes drops from across Australia, Europe and South America, while the beers include Birdie's very own lager and bevs from local breweries Young Henrys, Atomic Brewery and Lord Nelson.

Birdie Bar and Brasserie Cockatoo Cocktail

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo Cocktail

Birdie Bar and Brasserie, The Sunday Roast

The Sunday Roast

Birdie Bar and Brasserie Interior

Birdie Bar and Brasserie Interior

You'll find Birdie Bar and Brasserie open from 12–10pm Sunday–Thursday and 12–11pm Friday–Saturday at the foyer of Novotel City Centre, 7–9 York Street, Sydney. Head to the restaurant's website for more information and to make a booking.

Published on February 14, 2024 by Orlaith Costello
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