Chef Philippe Mouchel to take over Brooks of Melbourne space

City digs: Philippe Mouchel plans a 'good French bistro' on Collins Street.
City digs: Philippe Mouchel plans a 'good French bistro' on Collins Street. Photo: Chris Hopkins

Since opening the St Kilda Road pop-up Deja Vue in mid-2015, chef Philippe Mouchel​ has hinted he's been looking for new city digs. Mouchel has confirmedhe is returning to the CBD, taking over the subterranean restaurant that was most recently Brooks of Melbourne at 115-117 Collins Street. Brooks went into voluntary liquidation in September 2015.

The site has  had a string of high-profile chefs cooking in its open kitchen, from Greg Malouf's MoMo, to Jamie Oliver's Fifteen in early 2006, and Tobie Puttock's The Kitchen Cat in 2011.

Mouchel, who has made a well-respected mark on the Melbourne dining scene from his days in the early-90s at restaurant Paul Bocuse​ – and has maintained the momentum with stints at Langton's in the city (now Cecconi's​), The Brasserie by Philippe Mouchel in Crown (now Guillaume) and PM24 on Russell Street (now Lucy Liu​) – is thrilled to be moving back into the city and says that he'll make some cosmetic changes to the interior of Brooks.

Mouchel's rotisserie chicken at Deja Vue.
Mouchel's rotisserie chicken at Deja Vue. Photo: Simon Schluter

"It will become a good French bistro with a menu that is not too heavy," says Mouchel, who is currently calling the new venue, Philippe. "I have so many names to decide on at the moment." He plans on changing the bar area slightly and is introducing a seafood and oyster bar as well as bringing in a rotisserie and, hopefully, a Josper​ oven for roasted fish, meat and vegetables. Philippe is pegged for a mid-March opening.