Lining The Cannery’s exposed brick walls are some of Sydney’s best houses of gastronomy and mixology. There’s a conglomeration of recognisable and inconspicuous venues, carefully curated to compliment the rich heritage of the venue while maintaining a contemporary feel. The diversity of restaurants, distilleries, bakeries and bars make it a yuppie’s fantasy, and set it apart from other similar concepts in the Inner West.
One of The Cannery’s finest establishments, and this yuppie’s favourite, is Frenchies Bistro and Brewery. Frenchies is a hidden treasure, and is comprised of an intimate boutique restaurant and the most stylish brewery you’ve probably ever seen. It’s the only brewery in Sydney to make it into the Good Food Guide, a nomination which represents the calibre of the dining and the space. Sitting amongst the chrome brewing tanks on simple wooden chairs, with an elegant Teku glass in hand, is one of the best ways I can think of to spend a winter night.
Frenchies was born out of the long-term friendship of Vincent de Soyres and Thomas Cauquil – native frenchies themselves. They knew each other for 13 years, before launching Frenchies in 2017, uniting the two staples of French happiness: brilliant food and superb alcohol. Australians share a similar mentality, which made Frenchies a welcome addition to Rosebery’s then-developing food scene.
Chef Thomas Cauquil mans the kitchen and cooks everything in-house, including the bread and charcuterie. He focuses on local produce, working with just a few local suppliers to ensure high-quality, seasonal ingredients. Chef Cauquil’s background is in fine dining back in France, where he worked with some of the France’s top Michelin-starred chefs. Vincent de Soyres is a master sommelier and the expert behind Frenchies’ half German half French brewery. The founding frenchies’ chemistry is clear: the flavours of the food work in tandem with their beers, complimenting and elevating the flavours in each.
When visiting Frenchies for their Bastille Day dinner, I had the chance to experience the spécialités françaises for myself. Frenchies artfully balances the expertise of fine dining with the feeling you get when you walk into a neighbourhood favourite. The space is welcoming and warm. I was almost surprised at just how sophisticated and expertly-curated the menu and dining experience was.
The menu at the Bastille Day dinner was a true celebration of French cuisine. The evening kicked off with a glass of the Rosé Brut IPA, a light and fruity brew that hybridises rosé champagne and pale ale. First out of the kitchen was the Pâté Lorrain aux Pistaches – pork and pistachio stuffing baked in puff pastry. The light, flaky pastry was expertly paired with the dense pâté, and the marbling of the pistachios provided bites of texture. The delicate criss-crossing on top of the pastry showed the level of detail and care that’s present in Chef Cauquil’s kitchen. The pork jus was the real star of this dish: shiny, dark and punchy in flavour – it’s what I want to eat every wintery night.
Next up was the Quenelle de Brochet, Sauce Nantua –fish mousseline poached in crayfish béchamel sauce. This dish was picture perfect, the wafer-like shard offset the smoothness of the mousseline, and introduced a rare are interesting flavour profile. The Cuisse de Canard Confite, Aligot de l’Aubrac – confit duck leg with cheese mashed potatoes – was next and served as true ode to France. Aligot is made by blending three different cheeses through potatoes, and is nirvana for every cheese lover. The duck was beautifully caramelised and paired well with the maltiness of the deep ruby Astrolabe brew. To end the dégustation was a gorgeous Tarte Tatin with Crème Fraîche. The caramelised apples were arranged artfully like a flower on a pastry disc and the cinnamon melted into the softness of the crème fraîche. I could hear many diners nearby remarking that this was their favourite so far. Sitting up on the mezzanine, it’s easy to tell this is a space born out of friendship and mutual appreciation for high-quality dining. There are smiles all around and licks of French bubble through the pleased Australian lilt.
Stepping into Frenchies feels like being welcomed into a hidden corner of Paris. It is a celebration of delicious food, unique craft brews and the bistronomy that France pioneered – it’s an invitation to explore, relax and enjoy. The venue embodies an air of je ne sais quoi that only the French are capable of, while remaining approachable and inviting to the Australian diner.
This month, Frenchies is hosting a series of Truffle dinners: 5-course dégustations featuring the holy truffle in every dish. The last two dinners will be held on the 9th and 16th of August. To secure your place, visit https://frenchiesbistroandbrewery.com.au/truffle-dinner-series
Join their Facebook group for the latest news about Frenchies, invitations to free tastings, VIP events and discounts on the coveted Frenchies brews.