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The Strand Bistro

  • Restaurants
  • Darlinghurst
  1. The Strand
    Photograph: Supplied
  2. Flat lay of caviar
    Photograph: Supplied
  3. The exterior the strand
    Photograph: Supplied
  4. The interior the strand
    Photograph: Supplied
  5. Flat lay of anchovies and caviar
    Photograph: Supplied
  6. Flat lay of caviar
    Photograph: Supplied
  7. Creme brulee
    Photograph: Supplied
  8. flat lay of french food
    Photograph: Supplied
  9. Interior of the strand
    Photograph: Supplied
  10. The Strand
    Photograph: Supplied
  11. The Strand
    Photograph: Supplied

Time Out says

A historic Darlinghurst pub gets a new lease on life with a very French twist

Just in time for its 100th birthday, historic Darlinghurst pub the Strand has been reborn as a roaring '20s-inspired French bistro, boutique accommodation, and a rooftop cocktail bar set to open in late winter.

Thanks to relative newcomer Public Hospitality (who is responsible for the new-look Norfolk Hotel), the 99-year-old pub that has sat on the corner of William and Crown Streets in the heart of the city will herald in a whole new chapter of its life as a Sydney watering hole.

Sticky carpets and well-worn barstools have been replaced with dark wood panelling and floor-to-ceiling bi-folds to flood the space with light and let in the breeze of William Street.

Modelled after turn-of-the-century Paris, the new venture has been dubbed the Strand Bistro and is offering up modern French cuisine that's laid back but still très fancy. Spoons of beluga caviar and a classic french Magret breast of duck served with plum, radicchio and jus are available for more sophisticated palates. Sitting proudly alongside a more humble steak frites, duck leg pie served with grilled broccolini, mash and gravy and baguettes with cultured butter.

The Strand’s head chef, Alex Kavanagh, has designed the Bistro menu to hero seasonal Australian produce, featuring dishes such as Sydney rock oysters served with mignonette, a rich, sticky pissaladière where pastry is layered with dark caramelised onion then topped with Ortiz anchovies and olives, and lè bùrger Gruyère with tomato, mustard and fries. Oui, chef.

The bistro’s extensive drinks list boasts an impressive line-up of French and Australian wines, aperitifs, cocktails and beers and a 49-strong whisky list featuring a mix of Japanese, Irish and Scottish whisky. Signature cocktails steal the show with suitably named French-inspired twists including a French Tart; a mix of vodka, elderflower liqueur and rosemary as well as classics like the Charlie Chaplin; a mix of sloe gin, apricot brandy and lime juice.

The crowning glory of the Strand has to be the rooftop bar. With vistas over Sydney's east, the roof is season-proof; dark stained wood, bent wraught iron seats and festoon lighting, it avoids the pitfalls of overtly 'summery' rooftops we are all familiar with. 

Not to be outdone, the hotel within brings Parisian elegance and Bohemian vibes togethers for one seriously romantic overnight stay. Chesterfield lounges, crisp white linen, and plenty of greenery to keep you zen, your next staycation is sorted.

The Strand is the first in a series of new venues by Public Hospitality, set to open over the next year. The group is on a mission to uncover the potential of heritage buildings and restore them to their former glory, the Camelia Grove in Alexandria, Erskinville’s the Kurrajong and the Town Hall in Balmain to follow in the coming months.

Fancy a touch of the Riviera on your doorstep? Check out Sydney's best French restaurants here.

Written by
Elizabeth McDonald


99 William Street
Opening hours:
Daily noon-midnight
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