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The Charles Grand Brasserie & Bar

This all-day French bistro, bar and cafe within an art deco building is open from 7am until 10pm, six days a week.
By Ben Hansen
December 14, 2022
By Ben Hansen
December 14, 2022

From Etymon Projects, the team behind the north shore's popular Loulou Bistro, Boulangerie & Traiteur, comes an elegant venue in an art deco building within Sydney's CBD. Much like its counterpart north of the bridge, The Charles Grand Brasserie & Bar folds many different types of establishments into one multi-faceted one-stop shop. This time, the King Street spot is part-European brasserie, part-laidback café and part-bar.

"The Charles celebrates the charm of old-school hospitality without the stuffiness," says The Charles Grand's Director of Culinary Sebastien Lutaud. "The grand brasserie experience is elegant and decadent, but with ambience too. A busy, open kitchen; duck press on the pass; tableside saucing and carving; and roving dessert trolleys create a wonderful sense of theatre that's reminiscent of the warm and welcoming brasseries of Europe."

Taking from the tradition of many of Europe's longstanding brasseries, the restaurant boasts two must-try house specialities. The first is a MBS9+ black oak wagyu rump cap ($82), while the other is the classic French Canard à la Presse ($170), both of which are designed to be shared. The whole dry-aged Maremma roasted and dressed duck used in the Canard à la Presse is prepared in a dedicated duck and poultry room which allows The Charles' chefs to dry-age 100 birds at a time, for ten days each. From there, they're roasted until they have a perfectly crispy skin.

Marinated octopus ($24) and steak and anchovy tartare ($34) are highlights from the entree menu, alongside a must for any luxurious French spot — caviar service ($140–420). As for the mains, you can opt for a grand schnitzel topped with salted roe ($55), crayfish vol-au-vent ($62), or an aged rack of lamb ribs ($58) just to name a few.

"Refined, elegant food created using predominantly French techniques is how I've approached this menu. We hero the superb produce by serving it simply with a delicious sauce or consommé poured tableside, for example, rather than with overly complex or fussy garnishes," says executive Chef Billy Hannigan who will be flexing his classic French culinary training in the kitchen.

There's a collection of more than 600 both French and Australian wines to sort through, with up to 50 available by the glass for those that like to sample throughout the night.

Over at the bar, things are a bit more casual. Opening from 7am each day, city-dwellers and CBD workers can come in for an espresso and a freshly baked croissant ($6), crumpet ($6) or pastry. From 11am, the menu shifts to approachable French and European-inspired dining, ranging from pork crackling ($9) and chicken liver parfait ($22) through to flat-iron steak ($68) and butter lettuce salads ($14).

Etymon Projects enlisted to H&E Architects, in collaboration with COX to create a venue that celebrates its building's historic art deco design with flourishes of black nero marble and brass. The venue will provide Sydneysiders with the opportunity to set into a decedent European holiday, any time of day, with both venues to remain open until midnight.

Top image: Steven Woodburn

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