Aussie Restaurant Mogul Claps Back At Iconic Sydney Spot’s Shameless Parisian Rip-Off

Sydney's world-renowned culinary scene burns with controversy as beloved Italian eatery Totti's discovers an unwanted doppelgänger.

Aussie Restaurant Mogul Claps Back At Iconic Sydney Spot’s Shameless Parisian Rip-Off


Bondi is one of Sydney’s and Australia’s most iconic suburbs. Drawing over two and a half million visitors every single year, its beach is famous for its azure blue seas, golden sands, and throngs of the ‘body beautiful’ who come to enjoy and enhance the scenery in equal measure. This week, however, it’s Bondi’s culinary crowning jewel that has been making headlines.

The city’s culinary scene is alight with controversy as beloved Italian hotspot Totti’s has been alerted to an unwanted doppelganger halfway across the world in Paris, France. Renowned for its quintessentially Aussie spin on classic Italian fare, Totti’s has become a must-visit and must-be-seen-at institution for Australia’s upper crust.

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However, an Instagram post by Miss Double Bay has unveiled a striking similarity between Totti’s in Sydney and a hitherto unknown Parisian imitator named — in almost farcical fashion — ‘Totti’, with only a single letter and piece of punctuation differentiating it from its inspiration. Miss Double Bay, like many ussies, was unimpressed:

“It has come to my attention that we have a doppelganger in our midst – Totti (with no ’s), an Italian restaurant located in Paris… @merivale, get the lawyers on standby.”

Miss Double Bay

After a day or carefully considered silence, Merivale’s CEO, Justin Hemmes — Merivale is the group that owns Totti’s, among a whole host of iconic Sydney spots — weighed in with a brief but pointed remark:

“Don’t they say ‘imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’? I’m not sure I agree with that.”

Justin Hemmes

An unexpected twist in the tale is that the group had actually been aware of their Parisian look-alike for quite some time. Funnily enough, it was the Australian restaurant’s devotees who seemed more offended by the rip-off than its owners. Some took to social media calling it the ‘wish version’ of the original Totti’s, with others going even further in an attempt to console themselves at the thought of the restaurant’s near-sacred recipes being mimicked…

“Totti, you can copy totties, but you will NEVER work out the crabby patty formula to make the bread puff up the way it does.”

Instagram User

Others, however, stepped in to defend the Parisian imposter, suggesting that this wasn’t necessarily a cut-and-dried case of copycat. Pointing out that “Totti” is a common Italian surname and that the Totti’s iconic menu, though delicious, isn’t necessarily one-of-a-kind in the global culinary context, a recent online rebrand from the French restaurant made it hard to determine which restaurant was the definitive original.

Totti’s in Bondi has been open since March 2019, online sleuths could only find reviews for the French Totti dating back as far as November 2022. While this whole business may seem like a mountain made from a basil-laden molehill to many of our global readers, any local Sydneysiders worth their salt will understand that imitating such an iconic venue strikes at the very heart of what it means to be part of the Bondi body beautiful.

We wait with bated breath to see how the case unfolds…