Fire up your notes app and make a record of these new restaurants, diners, bars, cafes and eateries that opened in the month of September.
Broadsheet’s city editors have picked their top spots of the past month to visit now or on your next interstate trip. We’ve done the digging so you don’t have to. Enjoy!
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This immersive neon-lit Korean diner is headed by Jung-su Chang – a chef boasting a Michelin pedigree – and Seoul’s loss has been Sydney’s gain. You’re immersed from the moment you enter via an LED tunnel beaming images of Korean culture and food, which gives way to a space featuring neon lights, a streamlined warmly lit bar, and ceiling and columns features that are rippled like a body of water. But Chang’s genre-bending menu doesn’t need an elaborate backdrop. The French-trained chef, who left two-Michelin-star restaurant Jungsik in Seoul for the opportunity to cook in Sydney, gracefully draws together classic Korean cuisine, Australian ingredients and Western techniques and presentation. The attention to detail is exquisite – from beef tartare with chojang sauce, served with pine foam-topped pappadum chips, to an orb of burrata joined by soy-marinated raw prawns. It’s wild to think this is just the warm-up act: it’ll be joined by neighbour venue Allta, a 12-seat omakase restaurant, next month.
Since opening in 2009, Cam’s Kiosk at the Abbotsford Convent has picked up a legion of fans. It’s hard not to imagine Julie, also at the Convent, doing the same. This brilliant evolution from the Cam’s team is in the former Lentil As Anything space, and its menu showcases its abundant (and beautiful) kitchen garden. Head chef Julieanne Blum has made the move over from Cam’s Kiosk after six years, and is relishing her new, larger, kitchen – and the opportunity it provides for cooking more substantial dishes. Expect a changing roster of seasonal dishes, including anelletti pasta with octopus ragu and wild fennel, a tuna crudo, a roast half chicken with celeriac puree, and more. If something’s growing well in the garden, it’s guaranteed to make a lot of appearances on the menu. It pairs well with the seasonal drinks list, which focuses on small-scale producers, herbaceous cocktails and wine by the glass. With a beautiful, romantic dining room and plenty of seats by the garden, it’s hard to get a dud table here, too.
East End Cellars Norwood
For over 20 years, East End Cellars’ Vardon Avenue wine-bar-slash-bottle-shop has been considered a go-to for knock-off drinks, semillon on a sunny Sunday arvo, picking up a suitably impressive bottle on the way to a party and even morning coffees. Now, after also opening Mothervine, the East End team were ready to expand their original brand. The biggest point of difference at this new location is the extended menu. It includes brasserie classics such as steak frites and an apple tarte tatin as well as other European-inspired dishes such as Ligurian focaccia sandwiches; wild mushroom and truffle ragu gnocchetti; crispy potato mille feuille with raw beef and Murray cod caviar; and a curried prawn sandwich. The wine offering is suitably impressive with over 600 bottles available, starting from just $15 per bottle and skyrocketing up to $2000 per bottle for premium drops. Like at the Vardon Avenue outpost, customers can pick up a bottle and drink it on-site for a $20 corkage fee, or indulge in a list of by-the-glass options.
Twenty years ago, in Sydney, Single O opened one of the first “third wave” coffee cafes in Australia. Now these pioneers of Australian coffee culture have arrived in Brisbane, bringing their rebellious spirit and creativity to Newstead. Single O’s first Brisbane cafe is in a former warehouse space on Austin Street in Newstead. It offers its flagship reservoir blend, with notes of stone fruit and soft milk chocolate, alongside rotating single origin beans that are available seasonally. You can double down with a coffee flight that includes single origin espresso and a reservoir blend flat white; sample the affogato made with gelato from nearby Allora; or pour yourself a glass from the signature self-serve taps (the first of their kind in Queensland) dispensing both a batch brew and an iced oat latte. The light-filled cafe is heavy on metal surfaces and industrial design elements – offset by polycarbonate tables and Defy Design stools. The small but exciting menu includes a standout salad sanga, and carry-overs from the Sydney menu such as avocado toast with achiote cashew cheese, pickled fennel, chilli oil and sweet lemon aspen on Agnes Bakery smoked potato bread.
You’re going to love Lola’s, in Fremantle’s West End – a family-friendly pizzeria and the sophomore venue from Harriet Roxburgh and Harry Peasnell of beloved sandwich shop, Peggy’s. Firstly, the space is beautiful and utterly charming. The bar and counter in the window are made from a handsome beetroot-coloured stone. Salvaged jarrah timber, terracotta wine holders and a palette of earthy hues and tones give the room instant character. Custom-built furniture injects just the right amount of contemporary style. It’s a fitting backdrop for a food offering that combines modern-day baking craft with no small amount of nostalgia. The opening 11-pizza menu is classically minded, with choices split evenly between red-sauce and white-based pies including vegetarian options. Peasnell and head chef Drew Dawson will also do 25 limited “grandma slices” a day. A small edit of pizza-adjacent sides, such as house-smoked meatballs and scallops “Rockerfella”, make up the rest of the menu. A wine list sporting low mark-ups and a selection that’s two-thirds conventional and one-third natural ensures everyone’s looked after on the drinks side of things. A couple of tap beers and house cocktails round things off.