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Manon Brasserie

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