Hatted chef Joshua Mason brings romantic ‘Parisian-bistro’ vibes to new look Quoi Dining

Acclaimed French-trained chef, restaurateur and wine maker, Joshua Mason has unveiled an elegant new look at his award-winning hatted restaurant, Quoi Dining, channelling chic Parisian bistro-vibes to Sydney’s Hills District.

Receiving its first hat in 2017 by The Australian Good Food Guide, Quoi Dining claims the mantle as the most romantic restaurant in the Hills overlooking the picturesque Norwest Lake renowned for its exquisitely curated Long and Short degustation menus complemented by the indisputably best wine list in the Hills.

Chef Josh says the motivation behind the renovation came as he wanted to enhance the dining experience for customers by providing an elevated level of comfort and a unique design to the restaurant.

“Inspired by classic Parisian bistros and chic old world wine bars you find hidden in back streets through Paris was the style of restaurant I wanted to create – ideal for this intimate space,” he says.

“Our culinary team has a focus on a modern Australian French inspired menu and will be unveiling a fresh new menu featuring new star ingredients such as Glazed Tooth Fish and Whole Roasted Duck to share – I think our local regulars are going to love it,” he said.

At just 29, the ambitious young chef already claims a slew of awards and impressive accomplishments to his career, having won an Australian Gold Medal in 2014 at one of the biggest cooking competitions in the country. He has also been a Brand Ambassador for Barbecues Galore for the past four years and has a sponsorship with Swiss knife manufacturer, Victorinox.

Having trained at some of the best Michelin-star restaurants in the world including stints at renowned San Francisco restaurants, Atelier Crenn, and Coi, Josh returned to Australia with the confidence and drive to open his first restaurant, the now established Quoi Dining.

Filling the main dining room with a sense of romance and French sensuality, Chef Mason called on the talents of local Sydney artist, Clarissa Luk who hand-painted French style line drawings all over the ceiling and walls of the restaurant creating a Picasso-esque effect.

“Clarissa spent a week hand-painting the ceiling in the restaurant creating a sense of artistic beauty and playfulness,” Chef said.

“Our vision together was that her artwork could be seen from every seat in the restaurant adding to the ambience and playing off the open plan kitchen where diners can watch the chefs create their delicate masterpieces. It marries perfectly with the art deco architecture and complements the interior colour palette of moody black, gold and bronze.”

Boasting the largest wine list in the Hills, it would only be fitting for the restaurant to feature a floor-to-ceiling 5m x 5m ‘Wine Wall’ which as Chef proudly notes houses some of the best wines in the world as well as a selection of Josh’s own label, Ciel Wines which he makes himself from his winery in South Australia’s Barossa region.

The last three years Quoi Dining has received the prestigious top three wine glasses at The Australian Wine List Awards. Having only been operating a short six years, it remains the first and only restaurant to receive a hat in the Hills district.

For those with a penchant for fine wine, it would be remiss to visit Quoi Dining without experiencing a selection of Josh’s best picks from his collection including New Release 2022 Ciel Grenache from his winery in the Barossa ($71 per bottle) or for those wanting to splurge, the New Release 2022 Ciel Head Chef Single Vintage Barossa Shiraz ($148 per bottle). For white wine lovers, he recommends his 2023 Ciel Buerre Blanc Chardonnay ($105 per bottle). All wines can be purchased at https://cielwines.com.au/.

So popular have his wines become, over 100 members have joined his Ciel Wine Club. Josh has also launched a regular Sip and Chat Series in Quoi Dining where guests can experience a table sharing feast and bottomless wine tasting across a range of varietals and vintages (tickets are priced at $100 and bookings are limited to 30 guests).

On the back of this success, Josh will unveil his next venture, a spectacular Seafood-forward, Mediterranean-inspired rooftop restaurant also in Sydney’s Hills district, Ciel Restaurant and Bar (translating to Sky in French). Offering indoor and outdoor dining with changing views and aspects from day to night, Ciel will open within the Infinity Park master-planned precinct in mid-2024.

Quoi Dining is located at Shop 6/8 Century Circuit, Baulkham Hills and is open Thursday to Saturday for lunch bookings from 12pm-3pm and Tuesday to Sunday for dinner bookings from 5.30pm-10.30pm. For reservations, please visit https://quoidining.com/ or call 02) 9299 3554. The intimate 50-seat diner also offers a private dining room for group bookings.