Woollahra’s Bistro Moncur has long been a dining institution, a highly regarded, chef-hatted destination for some of the best French inspired dishes in the area. It then comes as very welcome news that the concept has now extended to Mosman as part of the recent $8 refurbishment for The Buena, the latest in a series of modern pub makeovers by Public House Management Group, who earlier this year gave their Group Culinary Ambassador, Guillaume Brahimi, the reigns at Paddington’s famed Four in Hand.
The new form is an extension of The Buena that has seen what was once a fairly dingy side of Mosman transformed into a bright, elegant space. Leather booths and marble tables have been used to beautify the large area which faces a long open-kitchen and a modest bar tucked in the corner. Bistro Moncur’s classic artwork has also been replicated to further the sophisticated French touch that’s been used to enliven The Buena’s adjoined dining room while the narrow courtyard has also been shaped to complement the overall atmosphere.
The various other areas of The Buena have also gone through necessary change. The venue’s new ground floor is telegraphed by large brass signage, connected with the mature look of the downstairs spaces that have been reinvigorated by wooden panelling, marble bench tops and pressed leathers.
In addition to overseeing the menu for the new Bistro Moncur, Brahimi has worked with PHMG Executive Chef Ben Varela to modernise pub dishes for the pub’s upstairs Vista Bar with a range of wood fire pizza, share plates, and various other pub classics twisted to bring something distinctive to Mosman.
But it’s Bar Moncur which will be the primary spot for those seeking a higher end gastropub dining experience, in a cocktail lounge nonetheless. With a drinks list that includes offerings like a signature Old Fashioned, a Hennessy Espresso Martini, and White Chocolate Passionfruit Martini.
Much of the food menu designed by Guillaume mirrors Bistro Moncur, but with a few new offerings. Simple, full-flavoured starters range from a fresh vine ripened Tomato Salad, to an interesting Spanner Crab & Sweet Corn Omelette which is served with beurre noisette, to an indulgent French Onion Souffle Gratin. Mains go from typically French, with the likes of Grilled Sirlon smothered in buttery Café de Paris, to Modern Australia such as the pan fried Barramundi Fillet with mashed peas, creme fraiche and confit spring onion.
Dessert lovers can pick from the likes of the delicate Eve’s Chocolate Cake to the fresh, fruity Strawberry Souffle with a strawberry sorbet.
The opening of a second Bistro Moncur coincides with the recent news that Brahimi will be sadly closing his namesake fine-dining institution, Guillaume, in Paddington at the end of the year.
Address: 76 Middle Head Road, Mosman
Contact: (02) 9969 7022
Hours: Tue-Thur 5:30pm-10:30pm; Fri-Sun 12pm-10:30pm
All images by Chris Singh for the AU review.