In a prime corner position inside The Quay Apartments, something particularly French has arrived in Circular Quay. Not so long after launching their pizza and mozzarella bar just up the road on Bridge Street, the Fratelli Fresh team have changed gears, putting a new spin on their Italian influences in bringing us Café Nice. The doors opened on Friday February 22, with a touch of French flair.
Behind an entryway sporting a blue and white striped awning and a pink neon sign, Café Nice occupies a relatively secretive spot above the street. Looking over the corner of Albert and Phillip Streets, with a view directly through to the trains coming into Circular Quay Station and then beyond to a perfect aspect of the Harbour Bridge, it really is an unexpected little nook.
It’s bright and almost tends toward 80s retro on the inside, with bold blues, subtle yellows and an occasional marshmallow-pink colour scheme a far cry from the industrial basement setting up the road. But that’s part of the charm; Café Nice is a clear contrast to what Fratelli has done before.
A mosaic of bright French tiles lines the bar floor, with the seaside-cafe-style dining area stretching out beyond. It’s intimate and surprisingly escapist in tenor, perched above the hubbub of Circular Quay.
The sizeable wine list covers vin blanc, vin rouge, Champagne and various dessert wine options, so you’re bound to find a match for your spaghetti pistou, risotto with octopus nicoise-style, rich daube of beef cheek with parpadelle or an incredible fig clafoutis (now that figs are in season). As you’d expect, this is hearty fare, served fresh and with a touch of French to the signature Fratelli style.
Bonjour to Café Nice!