If you head towards the very northern end of George Street, you end up in Circular Quay and The Rocks area: a neighbourhood that I frequent a lot and which is filled with alleyways and cobblestone paths. Located in the old Rocks Police Station is:
Le Pain Quotidien
- Address: 127 George Street, The Rocks (in the old Police Station)
- Web: http://www.lepainquotidien.com.au
- Open: 8am – 9pm everyday
- Call: (02) 9252 3840
- Bookings: not really taken or necessary
- Payment: takes cash and credit (Amex included).
- Note, there is a (10%?) surcharge for weekends, which is a bit annoying.
LPQ set up shop in the old Rocks Police Station about a year ago. Described as a bakery and communal table, there’s actually 3 other LPQs in Sydney: Double Bay, Bondi and the City Westfields. LPQ is also international. However, we’ve only been to this one and I think it’s a bit more cool, because of what the building used to be: a police station. There’s lots of tables at LPQ. There’s alfresco dining on George Street (with red-white chairs that remind me of France) as well as tables out the back facing a cobblestone alley. Inside there’s a mix of small tables and the larger communal tables, which seat like 8 people. The idea of the communal tables is cool – you can come in a large group or share a table with strangers, all enjoying food together.
Further into LPQ is a hallway with prison cells on either sides. The former cells are now smaller dining areas, but they still have the old rusty prison doors (complete with a tiny window where I imagine the old prisoners used to peek out of). It’s actually pretty remarkable how they’ve transformed what was probably a dark, creepy prison into a welcoming and warm bakery/cafe! But they haven’t completely washed over the place either – you definitely still feel a bit like you could be under arrest, albeit with yummy food!
Have a peek of the menu here. It’s a range of cafe fare – breakfast foods, salads, tartines (open sandwiches), soups and lots of baked goods. There’s a philosophy behind LPQ with using organic ingredients where possible. Aside from being an eat in cafe/restaurant – they are also a bakery! So they sell bread, pastries, jams, spreads and an array of other pantry items! We’re here for a light lunch, so we order:
I order a vegetable quiche for around $12 (oddly their online menu has no prices) and it’s quite small/light. It’s about 10cm wide, but comes with a side of salad and baguette bread, so it’s filling.
D2D orders a grilled chicken salad. When it arrives, it is massive and has a strong blue cheese flavour to it. D2D only read the ‘chicken’ part and missed the blue cheese, but thankfully we’re both fine with eating some smelly blue cheese. This salad ALSO comes with a baguette bread and rye bread, with a spread. It seems every dish comes with bread! This is my kind of place. 🙂
The salads are around $20, but with the special of $22, comes with a glass of wine. I order an apple and ginger drink (chilled) – $5. This was really good. There’s tons of fresh ginger chopped up in there! This helped clear our breaths of blue cheese I think.
Generally, the servings are LPQ are pretty generous! Even if it’s small (e.g. the quiche), there’s usually a side of salad and bread to complement it all. To emphasise how big it is, we came here another time and D2D ordered a large flat white. Their “large” was so large that it was served in a soup bowl! D2D drank it like soup.
What else is around:
- Museum of Contemporary Art (free entry)
- The Rocks markets which has lots to see and buy
- Sydney Dance Company which offers casual dance classes
- Circular Quay harbour water, where you can look out at the Harbour Bridge and Opera House
- A lot of small art galleries, craft and souvenir shops are along George Street