New French Restaurant for Potts Point

Bienvenue à Bistro Rex!

Potts Point gets Frenchie with Bistro Rex.

Bienvenue! Bistro Rex is a welcomed addition to the Potts Point restaurant scene. High quality French bistro food coupled with a wine list that covers all tastes, many regions and budgets. It joins the family of our other local French eateries such as Mere Catherine and Macleay Street Bistro, Hugonettes Creperie and Douce France Cafe.

“Opening night is never easy but Bistro Rex delivered and then some. We were actually surprised to see so many locals turning up to support this new Potts Point restaurant. It’s great to see people continuing to get behind local businesses, long may it live… The tables kept turning over all night as the Parisian bistro food, cocktails, wine and superb service flowed fluently.”

bistro rex sydney food bloggerThe bistro situated under the Rex building on Macleay street has immediate street cred thanks to its line up of industry notables. Ex China Doll sommelier Josh Dunne has created a wine list to end all wine lists that compliments the perfectly structured French menu by head chef Jo Ward, (ex Bloodwood) and sous chef Michelle Powell (formally Spice Temple) and Baci Moore (ex manager of Spice Temple).

The Bistro Rex team were buzzing and you could feel the energy in the room, the staff we chatted to all knew the background of the owners and were thrilled to be part of the new venture.

bistro rex sydney food blogger We took our seats at the bar, as I’ve mentioned on previous blogs it’s my favourite place to sit, you can look out over the restaurant and take it all in, people watch and see what’s going on behind the bar and in the kitchen. The bar seats are the best seats in the house!

Despite the influx of patrons Jo Ward and her team were calm and in control as they served up classic French flavours. Consistency and quality was evident on every plate. I am not sure if they expected such a big turn out on the first night but either way they managed it seamlessly.

bistro rex sydney food blogger We started with some cocktails, a dry Martini and signature cocktail, Ginger Maraschino Collins. It was quite sweet which is not usually my thing but for some reason it worked and was the perfect start to the evening. I would probably order it again and it’s a lesson to me not to always stick to tradition which would have seen me ordering a Hendricks and tonic.

What I love most about the menu at Bistro Rex is its simplicity. I don’t enjoy large menus at the best of times. The menu for opening night had 3 house cocktails, oysters, 8 starters, 5 main courses, 3 sides and salads. The only thing missing was my French favourite, Soufflé, but my waistline is probably saying thank you. There were also some specials we discovered after we had ordered. Note to self for next time.

The evening was a little like the view walking up the Montmartre steps, it just got better and better. We began with the Country pork terrine and the Chicken liver parfait – The terrine was superb and had a beautiful balance of flavours. The house bread was the perfect accompaniment. The parfait was one of the best I’ve tasted.

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I’m quite fussy when it comes to parfaits and I have two favourites that never let me down and that is Luke Mangan’s and the Pate from Au Bougnat on rue Chanoinesse in Paris. Bistro Rex’s was equally as good and flavoursome, its consistency and texture magnificent. Bravo! I was left wanting more.

bistro rex sydney food blogger

“Someone asked me recently what the difference is between chicken liver pate and a chicken liver parfait. In case you’re curious, a chicken liver pate only becomes a chicken liver parfait (French for perfect) when the cooked liver mixture is pushed through a fine sieve, resulting in a silkier, smoother and luscious liver parfait! This parfait was decadent and indeed luscious!”

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We enjoyed a beautiful bottle of Sauvignon from the Loire Valley, the sommelier selected the wine for us based on our request for something very light and dry with fruity notes. It did not disappoint. Unlike the food menu, the wine list is extensive, I am pretty sure this list would be a sommelier’s dream. It covers many regions of France but also wines from other parts of the world.

“I would love to sit and read the wine list quietly over a few glasses of red, what I did read took me on a journey to a very good place. This could well be one of Sydney’s best wine lists.

For our main course we ordered the Poached chicken and the Pork cutlet. They were piping hot and perfectly cooked. The salad and fries were the great accompaniments. The broth served with the chicken was a lovely surprise, light and flavoursome. Unlike many Parisian staples, Bistro Rex keeps things light and fresh, just the way Sydney-siders like it.

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We didn’t have time for dessert but sitting bar-side with our prime position we had the advantage of watching the desserts being prepared, they all looked beautifully presented and I will be certainly leaving room for dessert next time.

The acoustics have also been well thought out with foam sound absorbing panels installed in the ceiling, working perfectly with the interior design and doing wonders for the busy bistro. It is often challenging for restaurants to keep noise levels balanced, especially in concrete spaces. My partner is an interior designer and he loved the fit out and design elements. He is a tough critic so that was a big compliment.

I don’t usually write blogs that are reviews but I felt the urge to with Bistro Rex. We can’t wait to return and introduce our friends. In summary Bistro Rex has a busy Parisian bistro vibe. It is elegant yet casual, sophisticated yet modest and the venue will have wide appeal.  Like the neighbouring Apollo and Monopole, it will fast become an eastern suburbs institution.

Congratulations to the owners and their team. Thank you for bringing more French flair to our neighbourhood. Follow Bistro Rex on Instagram here, Facebook, or visit their website

À bientôt! 

Note: all food and beverages were paid for by me. You can see more of my food travels on my Facebook Page.

Photography: Michael Galvin

16 Comments Add yours

  1. examen merveilleux ne peut pas attendre pour essayer Merci michael

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kerrin says:

    Sorry totally disagree…went last night…the food was fabulous…service by the waiter was rushed as not enough staff….dirty tables left for an hour…45 minutes between entree and main…turning people away but had closed sections….the owner came to talk to me about it and shut me down LUKE I didn’t know anything….well as a local of Potts Point i will be telling people to stay away until
    1. The attitude of the owners change
    2. They get more waitstaff
    3. They put a menu online
    4. They start taking bookings
    5. They realise that locals are their bread and butter
    My advice?
    GO ONE BLOCK FURTHER DOWN TNE ROAD TO APOLLO!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kerrin says:

    So sorry that should have said LIKE I didn’t know anything!!!

    Like

  4. Paul says:

    We loved it and we’ll be back again. Food and service were excellent.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mike Galvin says:

    HI Kerrin, thanks for replying to my blog about Bistro Rex. I’m sorry your experience wasn’t as enjoyable. It sounds like there were some challenges that night from what you said. The first few weeks from an opening is never easy. I totally agree with you regarding the Apollo. It’s one of our favourites too. The ‘full greek’ all the way, that cheese is heaven!

    Thanks again for reading my blog and taking the time to comment. Really appreciate it.

    Like

  6. Mike Galvin says:

    Great to hear Paul, your photos looked UHMAYZING!

    Like

  7. Nick and Kirk says:

    Hi Kerrin-Gai,

    As one of the owners I am of course disappointed to hear that you did not enjoy your experience with us Wednesday night. I also wanted to thank you personally for taking the time to speak with me last night and explain everything face to face. It was lovely to see you dining with Victoria with our favourite regulars from upstairs in The Rex and we’re always grateful to meet more Potts Point locals, especially as we only just opened our door for the first time 10 days ago.

    All of us owners of Bistro Rex are also local Potts Pointers so, like you, we also LOVE Apollo (and Kylie’s, and Fratelli!). We’re working closely with our designers now to have our webpage up and running next week so you’ll be able to view all the menus at your convenience and we were grateful for you bringing this to our attention last night and allowing us the opportunity to rectify it.

    Looking forward to seeing you around the neighbourhood and always grateful for your ongoing feedback to help us be the best restaurant we can be.

    Warm regards,
    Nick & Kirk

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Mike Galvin says:

    Hi Nick & Kirk, thanks for your comment. There are always teething challenges in the first few weeks. Like our other fabulous restaurants, yours is already fast becoming a favourite. I have had messages from 9 people so far who visited after reading my blog post, and they all loved it and can’t wait to return. Nor can we. See you soon. Mike

    Like

  9. Rita says:

    We have been and loved the food and the ambience. I think Mike is spot on in his review. It will be a favourite of ours for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Mike Galvin says:

    Thanks Rita for taking the time to leave a comment. Most appreciated indeed. One of our favourites too. What other restaurants do you love?

    Like

  11. Rita says:

    Hi Mike – we love China Doll, Baccomatto, Mercado and Flying Fish. And now Rex.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Barbara says:

    I am amazed by Kerrin’s comments. Perhaps she should just stick to Apollo. I am also a local. I had the pleasure of getting a table at Bistro Rex the second day of opening. The owners had deliberately left tables free at the back of the restaurant to ensure that the opening was not overwhelmed. My experience is totally at odds with Kerrin. I was met with a front of house that was very welcoming. My food was delicious. One of the owners (kirk) was pleasant, professional, and accommodating, The owners are working hard to deliver fabulous food and a great dining experience for everyone. This was
    my experience. I have been 4 times now. I am not disappointed. It is a fabulous dining experience and I agree with Mike Galvin’s critique.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Mike Galvin says:

    Hi Barbara, thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog. I really appreciate it.

    It’s great you had the same experience as me, personally I always consider what the opening team go through in it’s first weeks, it’s initially the unknown and then it settles down once it’s known what velocity to expect nightly. That said I felt on our visit that Bistro Rex were well and truly prepared, professional and delivered on all fronts.

    We are so lucky to have amazing venues on our doorstep. Do you have any other local favourites?

    Like

  14. Barbara McLean says:

    Hi Mike
    I really like Mr Wongs and Anason as well

    Liked by 1 person

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