Tastemakers: Chef Manu Feildel on His Favourite French Restaurant in Sydney

Chef Manu Feildel

Welcome to The Latch Tastemakers, where we sit down with people who know a city’s scene like the back of their hand to ask their must-try restaurants, cafes and bars. Dive into our Tastemakers series and curate your ultimate hit-list, whether you’re exploring your own city or venturing somewhere new.

If there’s one person to ask for recommendations for French restaurants in Sydney, it’s Chef Manu Feildel. The chef best known as a co-host on My Kitchen Rules grew up in France but has lived in Sydney since 1999.

Fiedel says his favourite place to get his home cuisine in the Harbour City is Bistro Papillon. “It’s really French, traditional French, but casual and delicious,” Feildel told The Latch at Kellogg’s 100th anniversary event in Sydney on February 20.

The bistro in the CBD on Clarence Street was opened in 2010 by two Frenchmen, Xavier Huitorel and Ludovic Geyer. Seating only around 35 diners, it was designed to be a place for good food and good wine.

Bistro Papillon
Image: Bistro Papillon

“But watch this space — something else is coming soon,” he says. In November 2023, Good Food reported staff telling the publication the under-construction restaurant at the Red Lion Hotel in Rozelle would open in March, with Feildel in the kitchen.

At the Sydney event, Feildel also shared his favourite restaurant in the city, serving Italian, one of his most-loved cuisines.

“I’m going to go [The Restaurant] Pendolino, which is at the top of The Strand Arcade,” he said. “They’ve got the ravioli with spinach and ricotta with burned butter. Delicious.”

Image: Instagram @therestaurantpendolino

Other of Feildel’s Sydney venue favourites are Boulevard Bakery in Maroubra, where he says the croissants are “out of this world”, and The Lion and The Buffalo, a café in South Coogee.

“They do a brilliant breakfast,” he said. “It’s not just the generic breakfast — they’ve got a great ramen and it’s called Better Than Sex. Delicious.”

Finally, Feildel shared his overall favourite restaurant in Sydney: Saint Peter. The restaurant within the Grand National Hotel in Paddington serves sustainable seafood, a concept it calls “fin-to-scale”.

“I think Josh Niland [co-owner of Saint Peter with his wife Julie] is a bright young chef who’s really mastered the way of cooking seafood and I love it,” Feildel said.

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