Tag Archives: the rocks

Baroque Pantry and Bistro, The Rocks

Updated visit:

We recently went back to Baroque, for dinner this time, on a Tuesday night for their Baroque Bouchon $48 three course plus wine menu. This is an changing weekly menu, its name inspired Bouchons of Lyons, which is well known for bistro meals and wines at a low price.

Baroque
Baroque

On this visit, we were lucky enough to be there for the last Bouchon menu! After being seated, we were offered a choice between the house white or red wine, with top up. They were very generous with this!

MOULES À LA NORMANDE Mussells with cider, cream and eschallots
MOULES À LA NORMANDE Mussells with cider, cream and eschallots

Entree was a mussels dish with yummy sauce. You can’t really go wrong with mussels and a cream sauce…

Free bread!
Free bread!

We also received complimentary baguette bread with a slab of butter. This went well to mop up the mussel’s sauce as well.

POULET AUX 40 GOUSSES D'AIL Chicken cooked with 40 cloves of garlic
POULET AUX 40 GOUSSES D’AIL Chicken cooked with 40 cloves of garlic

This was the main – beautifully presented and a very tasty collection of different elements.  No wonder – it had 40 cloves of garlic!! Good way to keep the vampires away…

There was vegetables, some beans, mash and what seemed to be a small croquette.

SAINT HONORE ROSE FRAMBOISE Raspberry and rose gateau St Honore
SAINT HONORE ROSE FRAMBOISE Raspberry and rose gateau St Honore

The dessert was also a highlight! This was quite interestingly pieced together, with a slightly hard/crunchy pastry for the bottom square and those five spheres topped on top. Quite delightful and well presented.

All in all, we enjoyed the Bouchon menu and hope they keep going with it! The $48 three course is a good deal, though the portions are quite small. I imagine some people may not feel quite full… Still, a very tasty way to try entree, main and dessert, plus wine and free bread!

Original post:

It’s 8am on a Sunday and we’re headed out to the City for a trip to Cockatoo Island for the 19th Biennale of Sydney. The plan is to breakfast at Cafe Sopra in Walsh Bay but it turns out they don’t open until noon! What kind of cafe opens so late…

Pretty interior
Pretty interior

Instead, we head for Baroque (Pantry by day, Bistro by night). Even at 9am, when the Rocks Markets are still being setup, the tables are getting filled up. There’s tables inside and outside but they still don’t seem to be enough. Soon, there’s even a waiting area for people to get seated.

Baroque Pantry and Bistro
Baroque Pantry and Bistro

Baroque Pantry and Bistro

  • Website: http://www.baroquebistro.com.au/
  • Address: 88 George Street, The Rocks
  • Pantry hours: 8am-3pm daily
  • Bistro hours: Tues to Sun from 6pm
  • Bookings: recommended, do it online via Dimmi and earn points (see their website)

Baroque is pretty much located on the corner of George Street and Hickson Road in The Rocks area. There’s cobblestone paths and markets every Sat and Sun surrounding this popular eatery.

Baroque is kind of a mixed bag. Their website describes it as a pantry, bistro, restaurant and patisserie all rolled into one. Opening in 2009 by the Charkos family who own the popular La Renaissance Cafe Patisserie just down the road, Baroque is headed by Chef Drew Bolton. There’s a lot going on here, including cooking classes (including macaron masterclass!).

Since we there for breakfast, I’ll only talk about Baroque Pantry. So what’s there to eat?

Baroque menu
Baroque menu

Baroque is a modern French style restaurant. Their menu is quite extensive and you can read up on it here. The price is about $10-$30 for breakfast and lunch items. They also serve wines, cocktails and beers.

Flat white $4.50
Flat white $4.50

D2D’s flat white arrives. It’s a bit hot sitting in the sun in the alfresco dining and it’s a shame they don’t have more indoor seats or shaded areas.

Egg Cocotte 15.5 Bacon, mushroom, tomato, hollandaise, served with Sonoma sourdough toast
Egg Cocotte $15.5
Bacon, mushroom, tomato, hollandaise, served with Sonoma sourdough toast

This is my little pot of baked eggs served with Sonoma bread. Although the pot is quite small, it’s packed with bacon, mushroom, tomato and even some spinach. Because of the depth of the bowl (usually baked eggs is in a shallow pan), the egg is less cooked than normal. This might put some people off?

The bread is from Sonoma and must have been slathered in butter before it was toasted, because it tastes so good and feels a bit oily when I pull it apart.

Quite a filling breakfast.

Croque Madame 22 Croque Monsieur served with a fried free range egg
Croque Madame $22
Croque Monsieur served with a fried free range egg

This is D2D’s croque madam – basically a ham and cheese toast with fried free range egg on top, served with a side of salad. This is a very fried dish! So the salad helps to balance it out.   This is a pretty big serving, much bigger than my mini baked eggs.

All up, the bill comes to $42 for two breakfasts and a coffee. Pay inside and you’ll see:

Inside Baroque
Inside Baroque

Their patisserie kitchen! No wonder there is little seating inside, they have a big open kitchen taking up most of the space. Here’s a couple paying before us, sporting sunnies for the day ahead.

Macarons
Macarons

Baroque Macarons are quite a favourite in this town. They are $3 each (or $2.70 takeaway), and you can get 3 macarons plus a coffee for $12. As I said above, you can even make your own in a Baroque Macaron Masterclass.

Dessert time
Dessert time

They also have a wide range of other cakes and delightful desserts. Unfortunately we were too full to try any after breakfast.

Before we head off, here’s one other little secret:

Strawberry garden
Strawberry garden

Next to the alfresco dining areas are a series of potted trenches . I initially thought they were just decorative plants, but a closer inspection revealed… strawberries! This one isn’t quite ripe yet. They also had some other herbs like lavendar, mint, oregano and dill!

I guess if you want you can grab some herbs and sprinkle onto your meal!

What else is around?

  • The Rocks Markets set up right outside Baroque and up to the end of George Street every Saturday and Sunday.
  • La Renaissance Cafe Patisserie is just down the road if Baroque is too packed or you want something more casual
  • Museum of Contemporary Art
  • The Circular Quay wharf area makes a nice walk around the water to either Opera House or Walsh Bay

Baroque | Bistro Bar Patisserie on Urbanspoon

Le Pain Quotidien, The Rocks

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.
Le Pain Quotidien
Le Pain Quotidien, The Rocks

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.

The prison rooms
The prison rooms

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!

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:

Vegetable quiche
Vegetable quiche – approx $12

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.

Grilled Chicken with egg, avocado, bacon, blue cheese, egg and smoked tea vinaigrette
Grilled Chicken with egg, avocado, bacon, blue cheese, egg and smoked tea vinaigrette

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. 🙂

Chardonnay
Chardonnay

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.

IMG_1700
Apple and ginger juice – $5

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.

Our tiny prison room
Our tiny prison room

What else is around:

Le Pain Quotidien on Urbanspoon