Melbourne Restaurants

The Brass Coq, Melbourne

The Brass Coq is a new bar and eatery in Melbourne that takes inspiration from Vietnamese cuisine along with some French influences. The two level venue is located at the King Street end of Little Lonsdale street at the business end of Melbourne’s CBD.  

The Brass Coq, Melbourne
The Brass Coq

Downstairs is a casual and bright eatery serving a fresh take on Vietnamese cuisine during lunch and dinner.

The Brass Coq, Melbourne
Upstairs Lounge

Upstairs is an elegant and inviting bar and lounge open on Friday and Saturday evenings. There you’ll find the same cocktail list but with bar bites that are a subset of the restaurant’s food menu.

The Brass Coq, Melbourne
Upstairs Bar

Designed to appeal to the neighbouring business and legal clientele, green Chesterfield lounges and armchairs offer comfortable seating with exposed brick walls, a fireplace, plants, green drapes and a striking mural near the bar. You can read our review of The Brass Coq Bar here.

The concept at The Brass Coq is to bring a mixture of French-influenced Vietnamese share plates, popular street food and family recipes with TBC’s twist.

The cocktail list by Co-owner Colin Tam (ex Zeta Bar in Sydney) works with the kitchen to deliver innovative and seasonal drinks made with a Asian fruit focus.

The Brass Coq, Melbourne
Passion fruit Spritz

Spritzers feature on the drink list. They change weekly with a focus on seasonal and fresh fruit. Passion fruit Spritz ($10) combines grapefruit vodka with grapefruit juice, a dash of creme de mure, topped with sparkling wine. It’s fresh, fruity and well-balanced and makes a great aperitif in the upcoming warmer months.

The Brass Coq, Melbourne
Saigon Mary

Saigon Mary ($17) is TBC’s take on the Bloody Mary with a Vietnamese twist. West Winds Sabre gin is mixed with their own in-house Mary mix made with sriracha, fish sauce, garlic, Vietnamese mint, infused with coriander and a celeriac salt rim. This savoury Mary packs a punch with a good kick of spice, umami and a welcome measure of heat. If you like Bloody Marys, this one is not to be missed.

The Brass Coq, Melbourne
Oriental Margarita

The Oriental Margarita ($17) is a take on the classic with tequila, sous vide grapefruit and yuzu juice which gives the drink an extra zing and vibrancy. Sip it thought the grapefruit salt rim.  It’s light and perfectly balanced on the palate and one you can order again and enjoy as an accompaniment with food.

The Brass Coq offers a seasonally-driven menu brings exciting spring-themed dishes that are light and vibrant and designed to be shared.

The Brass Coq, Melbourne
Gà Chiên Nước Mắm

Start with the popular and moreish Gà Chiên Nước Mắm ($14) or “VFC”, Vietnamese Fried Chicken. Chicken wings are lightly fried in a sweetened batter of flour and brown sugar which gives it a lot of flavour without being too heavy. The chicken is succulent and tender, and comes with a sprinkling of fried shallots.

The Brass Coq, Melbourne
Gỏi đu đủ

The Papaya Salad or Gỏi đu đủ ($12) makes a perfect pairing with the VFC if you’re popping in for a quick lunch. The salad packs vibrant flavours with a touch of heat and all the elements come together in harmony.

The Brass Coq, Melbourne
Canh Chua cá chẽm

From the more substantial dishes comes Canh Chua cá chẽm ($28) or Barramundi in Tamarind Broth. Tamarind is a staple in many Vietnamese households and the sauce here makes this dish sing. The crispy-skinned barramundi is beautifully cooked to the right texture, falling apart with the fork. The sliced okra add a nice touch along with the bean shoots. As for the tamarind sauce, we recommend it with some steamed rice or simply eaten by the spoon. It’s is that good.

The Brass Coq, Melbourne
Bò Wagyu bít tết

Bò Wagyu bít tết ($32) or the Wagyu Strip Loin Char-Grilled is the surprise of the menu. This French-style dish is beautifully charred imparting sweetness and smoke to the meat that is so tender and juicy that it melts in the mouth. The beef sits an top of a charred corn salsa and packs some heat along with the fried onions and chilli.

The Brass Coq, Melbourne
Bánh pudding

For a light and fruity dessert, choose the Mango pudding Bánh pudding ($6). It’s silky smooth, not too sweet and bursts with mango flavour.

The Brass Coq, Melbourne
Bánh bao chiên cade

Don’t leave without ordering the Bánh bao chiên cade ($6) or Deep Fried Pandan Custard Bao. This bao is a must, it’s fried, sprinkled with sugar and generously filled with the custard and makes a great way to finish a meal.

The Brass Coq, Melbourne
TBC Espresso

It wouldn’t be a Vietnamese bar and eatery without Vietnamese coffee and the TBC Espresso ($17) uses vanilla vodka, houseblend cold drip coffee,  and that ubiquitous ingredient: condensed milk. This boozy iced coffee – or dessert Espresso Martini – is simply perfect for summer.

The Brass Coq will be offering Vietnamese breakfast from mid October so expect dishes that include Vietnamese soup with prawn, egg and noodles.

TBC is open Monday to Saturday for lunch and dinner while the upstairs bar is open on Friday and Saturday nights and for events. Whether it’s the vibrant Vietnamese dishes with a french touch or the easy-drinking cocktails with a seasonal focus, this is a place you want to come back to again and again.

The Brass Coq
470 Little Lonsdale St
Melbourne, VIC 3000

Hours: Mon-Thur: 11:30 am to 3 pm & 5 pm to 11 pm; Fri: 11:30 am to 1 am ; Sat: 5pm to 11pm

Photography © by Gourmantic – Copyright: All rights reserved. Contact us if you wish to purchase any photographs.

About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is a drinks writer, author of GROW YOUR OWN COCKTAIL GARDEN, SHRUBS & BOTANICAL SODAS and founder/editor of Gourmantic, Cocktails & Bars and The Gourmantic Garden. She has been writing extensively about spirits, cocktails, bars and cocktail gardening in more recent years. She is a spirits and cocktail competition judge, Icons of Whisky Australia nominee, contributor to Diageo Bar Academy, cocktail developer and is named in Australian Bartender Magazine's Top 100 Most Influential List. Her cocktail garden was featured on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia and has won several awards. She is a contributor to Real World Gardener radio program and is featured in several publications including Pip Magazine, Organic Gardener, Australian Bartender and Breathe (UK). Read the full bio here.

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