Pre-theatre dining that steals the show

Moulin Rouge! The Musical. Image by Michelle Grace Hunder

Let’s face it, there’s a preconception that ‘pre-theatre dining’ means quick and easy but not always amazing. Well, a lot of things changed during the pandemic and it appears so did that.

Our first return to the theatre since Covid-19 also marks our first pre-theatre dining in…forever… and it came to our attention that the meal might just maketh the show. Or at least set the scene for a stellar night.

This epiphany took place inside the Kimpton Margot Sydney, the five-star hotel having its own moment in the spotlight. The luxury hotel on Pitt Street has brought the Sydney Water Board building back to life after the Primus Hotel closed up shop, and it’s got the old-world glamour to make it the perfect official hotel partner to Moulin Rouge! The Musical.

The real action takes place at Luke’s Kitchen, where chef Luke Mangan has settled into his role offering fine dining with the flair to match the decadence of this gorgeous Art Deco building.

Pre-theatre dining is no joke – there’s a hard deadline of the curtain call but the kitchen doesn’t miss a beat. We dive into a 3-course experience that kicks off on a baked fig tart, with buttery, flaky pastry that has us already dreaming of France, or there’s a lobster bisque with a lovely table-side sauce pour, and a third choice of chicken liver and bacon pate. Mains are a quick follow and you can’t go wrong with the French classic, steak frites. But you won’t be disappointed if you choose the flounder a la meuniere, or pan-fried gnocchi with asparagus and verjuice dressing either.

We end things on a definite high note, with a chocolate fondant that doesn’t get shared. Our dining partners don’t mind, as they’re happy with their rum baba served with mandarin double creme. For $85 per person, plus a glass of French wine, this is pre-theatre dining like we’ve not seen it before. We might, ah, be back, even without theatre tickets.

And it’s certainly set the mood right, with a buzz in the air for the quick 5 minute walk to the Capitol Theatre that builds when the bright lights of the theatre come into view.

We’re straight into our seats and it’s not too long before the notes of Lady Marmalade fill the air. It’s rude to spoil the show, so we won’t say anything other than this is classic Baz Luhrmann, full of the decadence and fabulousness he’s famous for. You won’t leave disappointed.

You might leave hungry though, and if that’s the case, head back up to the Kimpton Margot Sydney, where pop-up L’amour Bar is serving duck toasties and drinks from 10pm until late. Why not?

While you’re there, find a spot by the Wilmot Bar for a tipple – there are musical-themed cocktails like The Lady Marmalade, or The Green Fairy to keep you merry.

Kimpton Margot Sydney

About the author

Lisa used to use Sydney as a base to drop off souvenirs before heading off on the next adventure but these days she’s got her feet almost on the ground, with a desire to try every high tea in Sydney, and a cute cavoodle puppy at home. Travel writer, photographer and Kitchen Aid freak, she loves to eat, bake and write.