Sydney chef Guillaume Brahimi is closing his flagship restaurant, Guillaume, in Paddington after just 2.5 years.
The chef says he has decided to focus on his bistro ventures, with a third outlet recently opened in Sydney’s CBD, but industry observers also believe his fine dinner suffered as the upmarket area in Sydney’s eastern suburbs was “Brahimi-fied” as part of his deal with the Public House Management Group.
The Four in Hand’s dining room, previously run by MKR chef Colin Fassnidge, was turned into Four in Hand by Guillaume, and is just 100m around the corner and opened earlier this year.
Guillaume in Paddington will have its last service on December 30. Brahimi opened the restaurant in August 2013 after departing from Bennelong at the Sydney Opera House.
He says the lease on the Hargrave Street site has expired and he decided not to renew.
Brahimi spent several months and an estimated seven-figure sum on the luxe fit-out that completely transformed the historic three-storey Darcy’s restaurant into a 60-seat fine diner.
The degustation dinner costs $190 per person. Entrees cost around $40, most mains are above $50 and desserts $30. The closure will once again shrink the number of fine diners left in the city after Mark Best’s Marque closed earlier this year and Neil Perry closed Rockpool after 27 years, rebranding it as 11 Bridge Street ahead of selling the rest of his business to Urban Purvey Group. Even high-flying newcomer Silvereye, run by a former Noma sous chef, and charging $175 and $140 for degustation meals closed in September after less than a year in business.
Meanwhile, 12 months ago, Mitchell Waugh’s Public House Management Group enlisted Brahimi as “culinary ambassador” for the group’s hotels, which include the Royal, Paddington and Woollahra Hotel, home of the legendary Bistro Moncur.
The French-born chef is also culinary director for Crown Resorts and has Bistro Guillaume restaurants at Crown hotels in Melbourne and Perth. He opened a Sydney version in September.
“I am extremely proud of what my team and I have achieved at Guillaume- it is tough and demanding running a restaurant at that level, but I am excited for us to be able to focus on the bistros and a few other upcoming projects,” Brahimi said.
Earlier this year, the father of four separated from his wife of 16 years, Sanchia.
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