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Luke Mangan launches Bistrot Bisou, his first Melbourne restaurant in over a decade

Melbourne-born, Sydney-based chef and restaurateur Luke Mangan will open his first Melbourne restaurant in more than a decade this winter with the launch of Bistrot Bisou, set within the art-focused, character-filled Hotel Indigo.

Set on the corner of Flinders Lane and Spencer Street, the relaxed French bistro and bar will feature modern takes on classic French dishes and cocktails, with a sharp international wine list featuring French and Australian varietals.

Mangan is excited to be back amongst the city’s bustling food scene and to continue his love affair with French cuisine, having trained under the acclaimed Michael Roux at Michelin-starred London restaurant, Waterside Inn.

“Melbourne has a real European feel to it – especially as we come into the cooler months – and French fare is having a moment, so I can’t wait to share my take with diners,” Mangan said. “We’ve created a thoughtful menu full of classics like steak frites, an incredible twice-baked gruyere souffle and apple tarte tatin, with modern twists.

“Enjoying these in the stylish bar and dining room, with its leather banquette seats, marble benchtops, red leather bar stools, and gold touches, you’ll feel like you’ve taken a trip to Paris.”

Melbourne-born, Sydney-based chef and restaurateur Luke Mangan will open his first Melbourne restaurant in more than a decade

Dishes will be cooked over the kitchen’s wood-fired grill, with slow-burning ironbark and hardwood charcoal used to add smoky flavours, while the team will also be smoking their own salmon and crafting house-made terrines from free-range, Victorian roosters.

Bistrot Bisou’s head chef will be Rory Kennedy, former co-owner of Northcote’s hatted Vex Dining. Kennedy, whose CV also includes head chef at Bar Romantica, says the expansive open kitchen overlooking the restaurant is one of the reasons why he does what he does.

“There’s nothing better than seeing people smiling from ear to ear after they’ve enjoyed a great meal,” he says.

“To get that feedback in real time is priceless, while guests will be taken on a sensory experience from the comfort of their seats, as they see and smell their food being prepared on the wood-fired grill before they taste it.”

Bistrot Bisou exec chef Rory Kennedy. Image: Glen Percival

Bistrot Bisou is located on the corner of the new boutique Hotel Indigo Melbourne on Flinders. Hotel general manager Joseph Simmons says the new restaurant and bar offering will deliver a welcoming and fun dining experience for hotel guests and Melbourne locals.

“It’s the perfect place to settle in for a happy hour cocktail or French wine, before you treat your tastebuds to our delicious menu,” he says.

Bistrot Bisou will open in early June for lunch from Wednesday to Friday, and for dinner from Tuesday to Saturday.

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