Manon Brasserie

This European Brasserie comes to the QVB from the team behind Lola's.
Ben Hansen
June 30, 2022


An expansive venue open from breakfast until late has taken over the former digs of Jet Cafe inside 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.

Manon, an all-day European brasserie, comes 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.

Queen Victoria Building

There's a range of viennoiseries and baguettes, including pain au chocolat croissants ($5.50) and a goat's cheese toastie made with croissant dough ($12) — plus breakfast hits like avocado and feta toast ($19), bloody marys (known as Bloody Marie Antoinettes here — $14), buckwheat crepes ($19) or crab on toast with remoulade, avocado and a poached egg ($28).

Come lunchtime, you can choose from The Classics range that includes highlights from the breakfast menu and French bistro standouts like steak frites ($39). There's also a raw bar with oysters ($6.50), kingfish tartare ($28) and scallop carpaccio ($29); and extravagant mains ranging from pan-fried coral trout ($39) to one-kilogram rib-on-bone côte de boeuf ($190 for two people).

From 5pm dinner follows a similar trajectory. The array of entrées includes bone marrow tartine ($18), snail meurette ($27) and grilled split prawns ($26). And the mains add canard a l'orange duck ($58) and cheesy crab souffle ($33) 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."

Monon team, Nikki To

Images: Nikki To


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