Kensington Street gets its first small bar and cafe hybrid with Bar Chinois (Sydney)

Chippendale continues to become the new hub for the hip and trendy as the Kensington Street precinct adds its very first small bar following huge openings like Kensington Street Social and Koi Dessert Bar. Bar Chinois is a double-storey terrace-style drinking hole with a French-Asian fusion, blending a café open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a night-time bar that’s open ’til late and adds greatly to the already buzzing atmosphere of the laneway.

Operating from Monday to Sunday every week, Bar Chinois will recreate the iconic European Chinois experience, where it’s completely fine to tuck into a bottle of fine French Champagne from midday while enjoying a Croque Monsieur (with smoked ham, gruyere cheese, béchamel and cauliflower pickle) in a terrace that dates back to the 1840’s, along more Asian-inspired French delights cooked up by Head Chef Nalinil Nonkham (ex-Paramount) including Sticky Pork Belly Baguette with camembert, caramelised onion, pickled cucumber, red chili, daikon, coriander, and mint, and Tokyo crepes with enoki and shitake mushroom, cream cheese and chive and kimchi pomme frites topped with gruyere cheese, or Honey-Glazed Popcorn Chicken with chili aoili.

Food will be complemented with teapot cocktails like the Coco Chanel, which is a blend of 1800 coconut Tequila, passionfruit, lime, apple, and lemon sorbet, as well as a list of French champagnes and wines, Asian beers like Tiger and Asahi, and more.

The word Chinois means ‘Chinese’ in French, and Chinoiserie refers to the ‘Chinese-esque’ style adopted by Europeans living in the 18th century; a style which has informed the design here with an airy courtyard out back, a plant atrium inside, and a homely living room, dining room, and staircase.

Daily specials will be revolving at the venue, starting with Croque Monsieur & Madame Mondays, and continuing with Creperie Tuesdays, Baguette & Beer Wednesdays, Wine and Cheese Thursdays, Chin Chin Fridays, and Cafe Noir Saturdays. The week ends with Lazy Mary Sundays.

Those heading along on the weekend can expect an all-day brunch from 9am with food like homemade kaya on croissant, a Cheese Souffle with enoki mushroom, poached egg, shallot, and Tuna Tataki with heirloom tomato, goats cheese, and wasabi avocado on sourdough toast. High teapots and scones will also be available from 12pm to 4pm.

Bar Chinois

Address: 16 Kensington Street, Chippendale
Opening Hours Monday to Saturday 12pm – late; Sundays 9am – 10pm.


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Chris Singh

Chris Singh is an Editor-At-Large at the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.