The Brass Coq is a new bar and eatery in Melbourne that takes inspiration from Vietnamese cuisine along with some French influences. The two level venue is located at the King Street end of Little Lonsdale street at the business end of Melbourne’s CBD.
The Brass Coq
Downstairs is a casual and bright eatery serving a fresh take on Vietnamese cuisine during lunch and dinner.
Upstairs is an elegant and inviting bar and lounge open on Friday and Saturday evenings. There you’ll find the same cocktail list but with bar bites that are a subset of the restaurant’s food menu.
Designed to appeal to the neighbouring business and legal clientele, green Chesterfield lounges and armchairs offer comfortable seating with exposed brick walls, a fireplace, plants, green drapes and a striking mural near the bar. You can read our review of The Brass Coq Bar here.
The concept at The Brass Coq is to bring a mixture of French-influenced Vietnamese share plates, popular street food and family recipes with TBC’s twist.
The cocktail list by Co-owner Colin Tam (ex Zeta Bar in Sydney) works with the kitchen to deliver innovative and seasonal drinks made with a Asian fruit focus.
Passion fruit Spritz
Spritzers feature on the drink list. They change weekly with a focus on seasonal and fresh fruit. Passion fruit Spritz ($10) combines grapefruit vodka with grapefruit juice, a dash of creme de mure, topped with sparkling wine. It’s fresh, fruity and well-balanced and makes a great aperitif in the upcoming warmer months.
Saigon Mary ($17) is TBC’s take on the Bloody Mary with a Vietnamese twist. West Winds Sabre gin is mixed with their own in-house Mary mix made with sriracha, fish sauce, garlic, Vietnamese mint, infused with coriander and a celeriac salt rim. This savoury Mary packs a punch with a good kick of spice, umami and a welcome measure of heat. If you like Bloody Marys, this one is not to be missed.
The Oriental Margarita ($17) is a take on the classic with tequila, sous vide grapefruit and yuzu juice which gives the drink an extra zing and vibrancy. Sip it thought the grapefruit salt rim. It’s light and perfectly balanced on the palate and one you can order again and enjoy as an accompaniment with food.
The Brass Coq offers a seasonally-driven menu brings exciting spring-themed dishes that are light and vibrant and designed to be shared.
Gà Chiên Nước Mắm
Start with the popular and moreish Gà Chiên Nước Mắm ($14) or “VFC”, Vietnamese Fried Chicken. Chicken wings are lightly fried in a sweetened batter of flour and brown sugar which gives it a lot of flavour without being too heavy. The chicken is succulent and tender, and comes with a sprinkling of fried shallots.
Gỏi đu đủ
The Papaya Salad or Gỏi đu đủ ($12) makes a perfect pairing with the VFC if you’re popping in for a quick lunch. The salad packs vibrant flavours with a touch of heat and all the elements come together in harmony.
Canh Chua cá chẽm
From the more substantial dishes comes Canh Chua cá chẽm ($28) or Barramundi in Tamarind Broth. Tamarind is a staple in many Vietnamese households and the sauce here makes this dish sing. The crispy-skinned barramundi is beautifully cooked to the right texture, falling apart with the fork. The sliced okra add a nice touch along with the bean shoots. As for the tamarind sauce, we recommend it with some steamed rice or simply eaten by the spoon. It’s is that good.
Bò Wagyu bít tết
Bò Wagyu bít tết ($32) or the Wagyu Strip Loin Char-Grilled is the surprise of the menu. This French-style dish is beautifully charred imparting sweetness and smoke to the meat that is so tender and juicy that it melts in the mouth. The beef sits an top of a charred corn salsa and packs some heat along with the fried onions and chilli.
For a light and fruity dessert, choose the Mango pudding Bánh pudding ($6). It’s silky smooth, not too sweet and bursts with mango flavour.
Bánh bao chiên cade
Don’t leave without ordering the Bánh bao chiên cade ($6) or Deep Fried Pandan Custard Bao. This bao is a must, it’s fried, sprinkled with sugar and generously filled with the custard and makes a great way to finish a meal.
It wouldn’t be a Vietnamese bar and eatery without Vietnamese coffee and the TBC Espresso ($17) uses vanilla vodka, houseblend cold drip coffee, and that ubiquitous ingredient: condensed milk. This boozy iced coffee – or dessert Espresso Martini – is simply perfect for summer.
The Brass Coq will be offering Vietnamese breakfast from mid October so expect dishes that include Vietnamese soup with prawn, egg and noodles.
TBC is open Monday to Saturday for lunch and dinner while the upstairs bar is open on Friday and Saturday nights and for events. Whether it’s the vibrant Vietnamese dishes with a french touch or the easy-drinking cocktails with a seasonal focus, this is a place you want to come back to again and again.
The Brass Coq
470 Little Lonsdale St
Melbourne, VIC 3000
Hours: Mon-Thur: 11:30 am to 3 pm & 5 pm to 11 pm; Fri: 11:30 am to 1 am ; Sat: 5pm to 11pm
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