Bistro, boulangerie and traiteur Loulou makes a splash in Lavender Bay

Fish of the day at Loulou.
Fish of the day at Loulou. Photo: Steven Woodburn

Joining Sydney's pre-Christmas rush of restaurant openings this week is the much-delayed Loulou, which finally swings open its doors in Lavender Bay later this week.

It squeezes a bistro, boulangerie and traiteur into one delicious package for northside Francophiles.

Loulou, helmed by Lyon-native Sebastien Lutaud, stuffs an extra treat in its Christmas bonbon: one of the emerging talents of Sydney kitchens, chef Billy Hannigan.

The bistro at Loulou in Lavender Bay.
The bistro at Loulou in Lavender Bay. Photo: Steven Woodburn

With eight years under his belt at Michelin-starred London restaurant The Ledbury, Hannigan adds some culinary lustre to postcode 2060.

Hannigan wants to deliver some of those Michelin-standard disciplines to Loulou, while still ensuring the venue suits repeat visits rather than special occasions only.

Somewhere locals might pop in for baguettes or croissants baked by Brendon Woodward (ex-Bread Ahead Bakery, London), or pâté en croute and Toulouse sausage from Cyprien Picard (Victor Churchill), before hopefully returning to splash on a meal in the bistro.

Loulou's traiteur (deli) offers charcuterie such as pâté en croute.
Loulou's traiteur (deli) offers charcuterie such as pâté en croute. Photo: Con Poulos

Sydney-raised Hannigan doesn't "dot plates" but he does keep to practices such as testing sauces repeatedly during the day.

The lighter-style modern French menu includes John Dory with champagne sauce, and there's plenty of attention to the greener side of the menu.

"I was really influenced by a trip to France with my sister, who's a vegan," he says. 

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"Since then, whenever I've had to write a menu, I always try and keep her in mind. We have an eggplant dish on the menu, and we treat it with the respect of a piece of meat."

The eggplant in question is daubed with white miso and olive oil before being steamed.

With six months of delays, Hannigan quips he has already written four menus for Loulou. Hopefully practice makes perfect.

Loulou squeezes a bistro, boulangerie and traiteur into one delicious package.
Loulou squeezes a bistro, boulangerie and traiteur into one delicious package. Photo: Con Poulos

Open: Bistro Mon-Thu noon-11pm; Fri-Sat noon-midnight; Sun noon-10pm. Boulangerie and traiteur daily 7am-8pm.

61 Lavender Street, Lavender Bay, loulou.sydney