Dine like the Woollahra locals at Macleay St Bistro
Macleay St Bistro has been serving Potts Point locals and food lovers across Sydney for over 25 years. Well known for its Classic French Bistro style food with a modern-Australian influence it always seems to be a busy place. When you live in a city where a new restaurant opens every second day it’s easy to forget some of its old favorites. I’ve walked past this restaurant a hundred times and despite being labeled a bistro I had it on my “nice place to go for a more formal occasion” list and just never got around to going inside.
It’s a rainy Monday night when I finally dine at Macleay St Bistro and despite the weather, the small and intimate restaurant is more than half full. We are seated by a knowledgeable sommelier makes us feel welcome.
Potts Point has changed a lot since the 1980s when Macleay St Bistro was first established and has had several different owners and chefs. Mark Best led the kitchen for a number of years before opening his 3-hat restaurant Marque in Surry Hills. In July of this year the baton was passed again to new owners, this time to Mark Campbell and Phillip Fikkers, Potts Point locals. They’d been loyal customers for more than 18 years and loved it so much they bought it when the former owner decided to retire.
Head Chef, Tom Williams has worked in top restaurants including Bambini Trust and Tetsuya’s prior to Macleay St Bistro. By his side is Sous Chef, Sophie Heath making life sweeter with her dessert menu.
Highlights on the menu for me are the French onion soup, despite being very salty. An espresso cup sized serving is the perfect way to begin our meal. The chicken liver pate is also a hit as well as the duck breast with carrot and cumin puree.
The menu has changed slightly since I dined a few weeks ago, focusing more on lighter, summer dishes. It gives me another reason to go back. One thing I noticed about Macleay St Bistro is the music. They play a lot of ‘gay icons’ like Bette Midler and Gloria Gaynor “I Will Survive”. I loved it and was caught several times by our waiter singing during dinner. Mr Curl Curl loved it less but that may have been my bad singing.
At 11pm we were the only customers in the restaurant. The kitchen was packing down and the manager was doing the till when an older gentleman stepped in out of the rain. “Is the kitchen shut? I know exactly what I want,” he said. Obviously a regular, he takes a seat, the smiling staff set his table and the chef steps back into the kitchen. “We can make you something. Glass of wine?” I guess this proves me wrong. Macleay St Bistro is a great place to go for a special occasion, business meeting or sophisticated date. It’s also the kind of place you can pop in late at night and grab a cheeky glass of wine and steak, or dessert on the way home.
The Macleay Street Bistro
73a Macleay Street, Potts Point, Sydney 2011
7 nights from 5:30pm to 11:00pm for dinner
BYO Wine (corkage)