The Team Behind Lola's Has Opened All-Day European Brasserie Manon in the QVB
You'll now find early morning pastries, steak frites, grilled scampi and caviar service on the ground floor of this 124-year-old building.
June 21, 2022
An expansive venue open from breakfast until late has opened in the former Jet Cafe site of Sydney's century-old Queen Victoria Building. The historic George Street building constructed in 1898 is a popular thoroughfare for commuters travelling to and from Town Hall Station and is home to boutique retail tenants and a wide range of food and drink offerings ranging from cheap and cheerful takeaway to fine dining.
The latest restaurant to take up residence in the QVB is Manon, an all-day European brasserie from Marco Ambrosino (Fratelli Paradiso) and Manny Spinola, the team behind Bondi's new 94-seat Mediterranean restaurant and bar, Lola's Level 1.
"I have walked past the site for 24 years, dreaming of opening a grand cafe," Spinola says. "I am so thrilled to be in partnership with Marco to bring a French brasserie to the QVB. Manon will be a place to sit and people-watch while enjoying French cuisine, giving customers a taste of the European lifestyle whether it's at breakfast before work, a long lunch or an ambient dinner."
Starting with breakfast, takeaway coffee and pastries are available from 6am. Visitors can also nab a table and enjoy a seated breakfast full of a mix between French and Australian morning favourites.
There's a range of viennoiseries and baguettes, including pain au chocolate croissants and croque monsieur — plus breakfast hits like avocado and feta toast, bloody marys, buckwheat crepes or crab on toast with remoulade, avocado and a poached egg.
Come lunchtime, you can choose from The Classics range that includes highlights from the breakfast menu and French bistro standouts like steak frites. There's also a raw bar with oysters, kingfish tartare and scallop carpaccio; and extravagant mains ranging from pan-fried coral trout to whole lobster and one-kilogram rib-on-bone côte de boeuf.
From 5pm dinner follows a similar trajectory. The raw bar returns with the addition of caviar service. The array of entrées includes bone marrow tartine, snail meurette and grilled scampi. And the mains add beef wellington and cheesy crab souffle to highlights from lunch.
Each Friday and Saturday, Manon offers up its services to those looking for a late-night feed, with weekend supper on offer following dinner.
As expected for a luxe European brasserie in one of the city's most glitzy buildings, the fit-out is a sleek French-inspired design. The interior was a return to collaborator Chris Grinham who also worked on Lola's.
"Marco and Manny's vision coupled with this site is a dream for us to work with and create something," Grinham said. "There's an alluring romanticism set within this design — so too a heady dollop of unique 'French' appeal."
Manon is located in the Queen Victoria Building, 55/455 George Street, Sydney. It's open 7am until late Monday–Friday and 8am until late Saturday and Sunday.