Felix French Restaurant in Sydney’s CBD
Dear readers, if I tell you that there is a French restaurant in Sydney that is more quintessentially Parisian than a bistro you’d find anywhere in Paris you’re going to have to believe me! Felix French restaurant in Sydney’s upmarket, trendy and very European Ash Street is a true Parisian inspired gem that will not only transport you visually to Paris but culinarily as well. Felix seems to complete and compliment the pretty picture that narrow and rue-like Ash street seems to evoke winding off from Angel Place – a magical hub for dining and entertainment for anyone who has an appreciation for all fine things and a love for European refinement. It took mon mari and I a while to finally go and experience this much raved about restaurant and now that I have experienced it I honesty cannot understand why we didn’t make the time to get there sooner.
Felix rests elegantly beneathe human scale, European inspired, beige toned buildings and is predictably and rather necessarily adorned with French style red awnings. Tres chic black and natural tone rotunda Parisian outdoor café chairs and tables rest in perfect rows that create a setting perfect for people watching and beg for more wonders to be discovered inside. As we stood in line with the other enthusiastic guests waiting to be escorted to our table by the maitre d, I caught an enticing glimpse of perfectly clad waiters rushing to and fro from within and an oyster bar inside with a busy and dedicated shucker (I hope that’s the correct term) busily shucking away fresh oysters and in turn amplifying my excitement and anticipation even more.
When we were at last seated inside, the interior transported me instantly back to Montparnasse – Paris’ historic brasserie and bistro hub and called to mind the storeyed and enchanting Closerie des Lilas with its classic layout and relaxed yet refined atmosphere. Felix is divided into intentionally defined and beautifully furnished vignettes or sections with a classic bar dining area for a more casual approach, a romantically arranged central dining zone complete with rows of banquet tables and gracefully aligned individual tables placed artfully around. Also, not to forget the alfresco dining experience for those who prefer to take in the lively outdoor atmosphere and watch the fashionably chic Ivy enthusiasts parading by. Most impressive of all are the display of expensive and perfectly arranged international selection of wine bottles that span across the back wall and sourced from France and other notorious wine producing regions not to forget the stop in your tracks display of crustations and oysters on ice at the oyster stand (so very Parisian!) where you can pleasurably watch it all being assembled on tiered platters to be delivered to eagerly awaiting diners. Felix certainly attracts a trendy and sophisticated crowd that are tended to with care and utmost dedication and attention by mostly French expat staff who exhibit the savoir faire of fine service and who definitely know a thing or two about food and wine – it’s in their DNA after all. Watching over all this activity are the belle dames murals painted onto part of the ceiling that seem to offer a nod to the Art Nouveau period of Paris where many a brasserie and bistro have maintained the charm of this magical era.
The menu at Felix is classic French and is as good as gets in terms of quality, taste and presentation. The menu changes seasonally and the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner or pop in for a glass of champagne or wine by the bar to enjoy with some parfait or a platter of oysters or take a seat outside for a coffee fix and a taste of the best soufflé you’ve had since your last trip to Paris. The menu here is not cheap but Felix is a special occasion or pre show/opera type of place where you don’t mind breaking the bank for a memorable lunch or dinner once in a while. As is so happened, mon mari and I came to experience Felix for my birthday where if I can’t be in Paris for the occasion find solace in having a French inspired day out and Felix bien sur was part of my grand plan. On the evening, we ordered and highly recommend hand cut steak tartar and chicken liver pate and a delicious plate of freshly shucked oysters for entrees followed deliciously by the most divinely prepared steak frites (try the Ranger’s Valley Black Angus sirloin medium done) and rotisserie spatchcock served with hispi cabbage, yoghurt and pistachio with a side of broccoli and all washed down with some out of this world Bordeaux wine. The decision for dessert couldn’t have been easier when the staff at Felix surprised and treated me to a superbly delicious plate of eclairs that were generously smothered with heavenly chocolate sauce and were served with a sparkling single candle and a complimentary short rendition of the happy birthday song – a memorable and thoughtful touch indeed.
For a meal, service, ambience that will transport you straight to Paris before you are even seated at your table, make a reservation immediatement at Felix and experience some of that very necessary je ne sais quoi. You may leave with a much lighter wallet but spending time in Felix is an exceptional investment in time, utmost pleasure and a culinary experience that will leave you wanting for a taste of more. As the great Coco Chanel once said and I quote, “The best things in life are free. The second best are expensive”. Dear readers, are you entranced by Felix restaurant inspired by the brasseries of Paris, France?
2 Ash Street, Sydney – located in Ivy precint T: 02 9114 7303
For more information about Felix & menu go to: merivale.com