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Loulou Bistro, Boulangerie & Traiteur

Say bonjour to Lavender Bay's new French bakery, bistro and delicatessen.
By Ailene Wu
March 11, 2022
By Ailene Wu
March 11, 2022

Lavender Bay's newest edition, Loulou, is offering Sydneysiders a taste of everyday French life. The bistro-bakery-delicatessen hybrid is set to become a local favourite on the lower north shore, with the team providing everything from a morning coffee and luxe crab soufflé omelettes, to a champagne lunch paired with hand-cut steak tartare ($24).

Over at the bistro, you'll find shaved veal tongue, caviar service ($80–$200) and an impressive wine list — but Head Chef Billy Hannigan (ex-Bistro Guillaume, The Ledbury London) describes the all-day menu as "a lot lighter" than what patrons may expect.

"Many of the dishes will be recognisable to those who enjoy traditional French bistros but my technique is a lot lighter. We want the menu to be approachable enough for locals to feel comfortable dining here a couple of times a week," says Hannigan.

Highlights of the French-inspired menu include the melt-in-your-mouth côte de porc (pork chop) served sliced with a drizzle of charcuterie sauce (market price). There's classic steak frites with au poivre vert ($54), as well as lighter hors d'oeuvres including an oxheart tomato salad with rhubarb vinaigrette, and zucchini flowers with white anchovy ($23).

With a combination of traditional French styling and contemporary aesthetics, the dining space feels warm and luxurious — think warm timber, brass accents and mosaic marble floors. Guests can pull up a seat at the bar or slide into a cushy booth to enjoy an intimate meal with family and friends. With over 150 wines available by the bottle, sommelier Shun Eto (ex-Icebergs Dining Room & Bar, Berowra Waters Inn) ensures guests can choose from an extensive list of both Australian and French producers.

Follow your nose to the boulangerie next door where you'll be enveloped in the delicious aroma of artisanal baguettes, croissants, batards and baked sweets. Head Baker Brendon Woodward (Chouquette Boulangerie, Bread Ahead Bakery London) and his team bake four times a day, seven days a week. This number of bakes in a day is almost unheard of in Australia, ensuring that if you pop by after work, the bread is as fresh as can be — just like in Paris.

Over in the traiteur (delicatessen), browse through a wide selection of house-made produce and comforting home-style meals created by French-born chef and butcher Cyprien Picard (ex-Victor Churchill). From jars of pickles to charcuterie, cheese and whole rotisserie chickens, Loulou is your perfect pre-picnic pit stop.

Over in the cold section, pristine glass cabinets feature a variety of terrines, parfaits and fresh salads — there's nothing better than a summer cassoulet or chilled ratatouille in Sydney's heat. Guests can choose to bring the goodies home or enjoy them outside on the sun-soaked terrace.

Our top tip? Fill a basket and take a quick stroll to Wendy's Secret Garden. It's one of Sydney's most beautiful green spaces and is only a stone's throw away.

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