Anniversaries are wondrous occasions. Choosing where to celebrate that special date is an important decision. Whether it is a milestone anniversary at Le Jules Verne in Paris, amidst the grandeur of Le Grand Vefour in Paris, or a Tahitian wedding ceremony in Moorea, the experience is long-lived and committed to memory. And when you can’t be in the city of lights, you can now have the next best thing.
Enter Ananas Bar and Brasserie, and you are greeted with a musical bonsoir and a glamorous décor reminiscent of brasseries in Paris that have stood the test of time. The late night venue in the Rocks boasts a sweeping pewter bar, leather-clad banquettes, antique hanging mirrors and painted murals on mirrored walls just to name a few. The ambience is welcoming and inviting, and on a Sunday night, the venue is humming with patrons enjoying drinks at the bar, dining in lavish surrounds, and simply celebrating the joie de vivre.
The bar at Ananas is the place to sit and admire the range of spirits and the bottles of champagne that grace the central shelves. From the cocktail list, choose Ananas’ signature drink, the Absolutely Ananas, made with a vodka base, shaken and served in a martini glass with a fresh pineapple slice or the elegant Fleurette, made with Crème Yvette, a Berry liqueur, shaken with gin and topped with champagne.
Champagne Ruinart ‘R’ de Ruinart Brut
Anniversaries demand a glass of champagne and the Ruinart ‘R’ de Ruinart Brut is served at the table.
The food menu is created by executive chef, Jerome Lagarde. Light, modern and produce-centric, it draws on a style of contemporary French brasseries and his experiences at Pavilion Costes in Shanghai.
The wine list at Ananas is presented in an easy to read format on an iPad. Wines are available by the glass and have mainly a French and Australian focus.
Oysters du jour
From the oyster bar comes a selection of Oysters du Jour ($3.50 per piece), with Porto Bay Pacific oysters, Cape Hawke Sydney Rock and Narooma Sydney Rock. Presented as it is done traditionally in Paris bistros, the freshly-shucked oysters are served on a bed of ice with a vinaigrette sauce, a piquant tomato sauce and a compote-like citrus accompaniment. The medley of oysters are equally flavoursome on their own, with a squeeze of lemon.
If you’re in the mood for a seafood indulgence, try the Plateau de fruits de mer ($158 for two), a sizeable dish to share between two persons.
Lobster and scallop carpaccio
From the entrée menu comes the elegantly presented, lobster and scallop carpaccio with yuzu trufle dressing ($38). Thinly-sliced, the dish is redolent with the fresh flavours of the sea.
The steak tartare with hand cut pommes allumettes ($22) is served with instructions from the kitchen to combine the two together. Light in texture, tender and flavoursome, the thin and crisp potatoes adds an extra seasoning to the dish.
Scallop, black pudding, apple marmalade and lobster jus
From the main course, the scallop, black pudding, apple marmalade and lobster jus ($30) is the standout dish. Plump and juicy scallops are lightly seared and sit on rounds of black pudding amidst a scattering of lobster jus and crisp apple discs. The aroma from this dish is seductive, and the concentrated lobster jus makes each mouthful more luxurious.
The Chateaubriand fillet with confit onion and pommes maximes ($36) is a perfectly cooked dish,
that goes well with the truffle mash ($10), a thick and luxurious serve that packs a lot of flavour.
Éclair salt caramel
The choice of dessert is tempting but when you can’t manage another bite, the Éclair salt caramel ($12) shared between two is a must. The choux pastry with salted caramel simply melts in the mouth.
Ananas is part of Urban Purveyor Group’s multi-level Argyle dining and nightlife precinct in The Rocks district which includes Saké Restaurant & Bar, The Cut Bar & Grill, the Argyle, Lowenbrau Keller and Bavarian Bier Café. Their latest venture brings a part of la belle France to Sydney’s shores.
There is much to love at Ananas. From the warm welcome/acceuil chaleureux at the entrance, the relaxed ambience with the DJ spinning French Lifestyle House music, the French accents that float around to being addressed as madame/monsieur, it is the closest experience to being in Paris.
Ananas Bar and Brasserie
18 Argyle St
The Rocks, Sydney 2000
Photography © by Kevin Burke for Gourmantic – Copyright: All rights reserved.
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