Now Open: Deux Freres Brings the Intimate Pintxos Bar Experience to Circular Quay

A visit to Quay Quarter's fantastic new Basque restaurant will transport you to a vibrant European backstreet.
Ben Hansen
November 22, 2023

While nothing can quite compare to a trip over to Europe, there are a few places in Sydney that come close. Whether it's lavish French standouts like Restaurant Hubert or Bouillon L'Entrecôte, lush trattorias like Pellegrino 2000 or friendly tapas joints like Bar Louise.

If spending a few hours pretending you're on the other side of the world is up your alley, Circular Quay's new addition Deux Freres should be at the top of your list. The restaurant has opened in the bustling Quay Quarter Lanes from the Bouillon L'Entrecôte team and brings the experience of a Basque pintxos bar to an inner-city alleyway.

Located in a narrow ground-floor space on Loftus Lane, the exciting opening is an ode to the visits L'Entrecôte Group's Johan Giausseran and Vincent Ventura took in the Basque country from their childhood homes in France.

The diner combines a simple Basque-inspired fit-out, colourful murals, a marble counter loaded with fresh produce and a menu of European favourites to create an experience that feels authentically tied to the packed pintxo bars of Spain. The busy, compact space adds to the atmosphere — but if you're looking to stretch out, you can always nab a seat out in the laneway.

As for what you'll be eating on a trip to Deux Freres, the best place to start is with a few toothpick-skewered pintxos and a glass of sangria. The brioche, foie gras and onion jam combo is a particularly indulgent start to the meal that you won't regret.

The menu is kept simple, fitting on just one page. You can work your way through the selections of cheeses and croquettes or turn your attention to some of the impressive mains on offer. The chorizo is cooked on a hibachi grill and served atop a flaming pig-shaped terracotta pot, while the wagyu rump cap is paired with port wine glaze and confit shallot — both are must-trys.

While you can shake things up with a coriander-infused negroni or a citrus gin and vanilla sour, vermouth is the star of the beverage list with nine red and four white varieties on offer.

"It's such a light, refreshing drink that's perfect if you don't want a harder cocktail, beer or wine — good vermouth is a great aperitif," says Giausseran. "It's vermouth's time to take over from the spritz."

Round out your visit to Deux Freres with the blood orange sorbet. Served inside a frozen hollowed-out orange, the tangy dessert is as fresh as they come.

Deux Freres is located at 6 Loftus Lane, Sydney. It's open 11.30am–late Monday–Friday and 3.30pm–late Saturday. Head to the restaurant's website to make a booking and browse the menu.

Images: Jude Cohen

Published on November 22, 2023 by Ben Hansen
Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x