Sunday, 8 April 2018

District Brasserie, Sydney CBD

Head Chef Mark Knox brings his magic out to venue, District Brasserie located at the bottom of Chiefly Square. For the corporate suits that work in Chiefly Tower, they would be aware of the two areas of District Brasserie, there's the cafe and bakery and secondly also the bar and restaurant areas of District Brasserie. I personally don't work in Chifley Tower so I was pleasantly surprised to check this venue out on a Friday night as date night with MW.

 As I walk in, I notice the fit out. There's a lot of open space including the central bar as well as the open kitchen. This makes District Brasserie feel a bit New York with European touches. There's a number of corporate suits having drinks nearby the live music and a number of couples having an intimate dinner in a dim corner for your romantics.

I see Head Chef, Mark Knox in the background in the kitchen (formerly from Public Dining Room in Balmoral) and on this particular night I get to meet John Vissaritis who is one of the owners. John's had a lot of experience in running high quality venues and you can tell as he checks all the dishes before they come out from the kitchen. Total quality assurance there folks.

I've had a long week at work so I can't wait to sit down, relax and catch up with my better half. I eye off some beautifully made cocktails at a nearby table but I settle on the Under the Tuscan Sun ($17) as the description sounds absolutely delicious. The menu says Absolute vanilla vodka and limoncello (how refreshing does this sound?) shaken vigorously with freshly pressed lemon, apple juice and aromatic thyme.

Cheers to Friday and the weekend ahead! Matt and I also recently celebrate our 4th year anniversary so we cheers to that. I sip on the delicious cocktail. There's freshly baked bread to start us off with from the organic bakery.

For entree, we have the Pistachio crusted duck parfait ($24) which is served up with heirloom beetroots, blood plum puree and native pepper. The dehydrated, flat and crunchy beetroot makes for a perfect base to eat with duck parfait. It's best complemented with a touch of that sweet plum puree. It's a great flavour combination and I can see Matt grinning. I end up eating some of the crunchy beetroot on it's own and spreading the duck parfait with the plum puree. What an eloquent dish. I'd highly recommend this one as it opens up the palette for the dishes to come.

Matt then relaxes with a Kirin Beer while I chat away about my life and all things food and work. The next dish I share is the Jack's Creek Steak Tartare ($25) with smoked onion crumble, horseradish, egg yolk and tapioca squid ink cracker. This dish is completely up Matt's alley whereas I usually tend to order other dishes. However on this occasion, I have to say I really enjoyed the steak tartare. It's prepared incredibly well and is balanced in flavour in the mouth. The egg yolk looks so elegant on the steak tartare, I don't want to disturb it but eventually I break the yolk so it seems out into the meat. Matt is grinning even further and tells me that this is perfection. This is a must order dish folks. Spoil yourself, trust me.

 I can hear live music in the background, Matt goes for a sneaky walk to check it out. It's time for mains and a glass of wine. I go for the 2014 bruno sorg pinot blanc while Matt goes for the 2016 muller riesling rieslaner pt blanc. My wine is floral, light and vibrant, smooth with subtle hints of fruit while Matt's wine is slightly dry with more depth of flavour. Both will go well with our next dish.

For our mains, we first share the Steamed Snapper Fillet ($39) with cucumber, calamari, wood ear mushrooms with a shallot and ginger dressing. The cucumber and the calamari makes for thin ribbon strands which taste light textures in the mouth. The steamed snapper is delicate and is infused with flavours of ginger. The wine perfectly matches the snapper. The staff gave a great recommendation.

Next up, we switch gears to a red wine. The 2011 Lafkiotis agionimo agiorgitiko, Nemea Greece  ($14) which is a rich, red berry, balanced medium bodied wine with a soft long finish.

Matt and I also share the next main which is matched to the wine. This is my favourite main, the Brooklyn Valley Grass-fed Eye Fillet (200g, $46) with pomme paillason, caramelised onion puree, king oyster mushroom. The eye fillet is very tender and there's something magical about that caramelised onion puree that really brought the potato and eye fillet together like a marriage made in heaven. It was just really enjoyable to eat. The quality of the ingredients and the execution was hard to flaw. Perfection. Matt tells me he prefers District Brasserie over Quay. 

While my food feelings are incredibly satisfied, there's always room for dessert. The staff tells me that this is the show shopper so my expectations are high. The Salted Caramel Custard sits on a bed of yuzu with honeycomb and puffed rice. WOWzer. I never thought the citris tones of yuzu would go so well with salted caramel but my tastebuds were buzzing. This is a cracker of a dish and was AMAZING.

Summary: District Brasserie was really a flawless experience for me.  The staff were incredibly friendly and helpful. The venue is beautiful and buzzing with atmosphere and most importantly, the food was delicious and of such high quality.

My highlights were definitely the Eye Fillet and the dessert. I will have to come back to try more cocktails as well. I hope the owners consider opening a venue that's also open on the weekend.

I'd highly recommend this venue for a business lunch/dinner or an intimate indulgent dinner with your loved one or girlfriends.  The high quality food is worth the price.

Price: Mains vary from $30-40ish

Location: Ground Floor, Chiefly Tower, 2 Chiefly Square, Sydney. A short stroll from Wynyard Station.

Opening Hours: 

Monday 7am to 5pm
Tuesday to Friday 7am to late

Weekend Food Escapes dined as guests of the venue or their representatives. All photos, opinions and words are my own.

District Brasserie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


  1. Fantastic Blog, we have booked in for Dinner tomorrow night will let you know the results, keep up the good work. Mel

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