Occupying the former Happy Chef space on King Street, this cavernous venue by the Odd Culture Group (Oxford Tavern, Old Fitzroy and Duke of Enmore) is inspired by an overarching theme of fermentation, as well as Europe’s bohemian all-day dining culture.
If you’re looking for Sydney’s best beer bar, you may have found it here. There are 12 rotating taps dedicated to wild lambic beers from around the world, with a few spots saved for approachable options. There’s also a dizzying list of bottled beers and farmhouse ciders.
The cocktail list carries the fermented theme: lacto-fermented Strawberry Daiquiris and house-made tepache sodas (a Mexican libation made with fermented pineapple rind) are backed up by an array of spirits, sakes and nature wines.
The kitchen, helmed by head chef Jesse Warkentin (ex-Continental Deli), is overseen by group executive chef James MacDonald (Restaurant Hubert’s ex-head chef). The menu is primed for all day-dining and sees fermented ingredients star in approachable snacks, small plates and large dishes.
Drop in from 7am for hangover-busting bacon butties with tonkatsu sauce; buttermilk pancakes with banana and miso-caramel; plus Mecca coffee and boozy breakfast cocktails. For lunch and dinner, the line-up might be anchovy cigars, confit duck and jersey milk gelato.
The space is bright and breezy, with enormous French windows looking out onto King Street. Timber is everywhere, including a bartop made from old railway sleepers, tabletops hewn from recycled French-oak barrels, and floors from an old French barn. The building's past life is acknowledged, with the remains of the old Happy Chef logo still painted on the main wall. A six-metre high Reschs mural is hiding upstairs on the mezzanine.
If all that wasn't enough, the Odd Culture bottle shop lives two doors up. It's a go-to for minimal-intervention booze and ferment-focused pantry items such as pickles, hot sauce and kimchi.