In the past few years we've witnessed the rise of a new genre of cooking, one that crosses borders and embraces fusion in innovative ways. While the basic principles remain the same – a focus on local produce – chefs are playing around with different influences, as well as pushing traditional cuisines away from what we know.
Here are the openings you should know about.
Taking over the space formerly occupied by Devon on Danks in Waterloo, Broadsheet Restaurant showcases the best of Sydney’s drinking and dining scene. The pop-up restaurant, designed by Foolscap – the same team behind the Noma Australia pop-up – is headed up by former Master chef John Javier. There are dishes from 10 William St, The Apollo, The Unicorn, Fratelli Paradiso, Kensington Street Social and Hubert, to name a few.
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The Port in Darling Harbour is a new French, waterside restaurant. The menu focuses on seafood. There’s a raw and cured section with kingfish sashimi. Mains include steaks dressed in béarnaise, and mussels stewed in a saffron broth with white wine and tomato. There are also Szechuan-battered prawns and a trio of sourdough flat breads, which are topped with chilli prawns, tomato, pineapple and mozzarella.
The newest project from Dave Whitting (Subiaco Hotel, Bistro Guillaume is Bistro Remy. It is inside the Langham Hotel in Millers Point. The restaurant is fine dining but the modern-Australian menu is accessible, with dishes such as Melanda pork belly and cured and cold-smoked salmon from southern New Zealand. Cocktails use many ingredients from the kitchen.
Paddington Inn Bistro
The recently renovated Paddington Inn is inspired by its neighboring terraces. The bistro is a Greek-inspired space designed by George Livissianis. It’s modern yet homey. Head chef Justin Schott (Kitchen by Mike and Rockpool Bar & Grill has designed a fine-dining menu. There’s swordfish drizzled in lemon oil, and a whole duck to share.
Bodega 1904 is a Spanish tapas bar. It’s the third restaurant from business partners Ben Milgate, Elvis Abrahanowicz and Joseph Valore, the team behind Bodega and Porteño. The menu is made up of tapas plates that include delicate pickled mussels with cured cabbage, and a brawny smoked pig’s-head sausage with potatoes and plum sauce. It’s in the newly opened Harold Park Tramsheds.
Possibly the most creative take on Levantine (eastern Mediterranean region) cuisine in Sydney, Nour has a contemporary design and menu. “[It is] a collision of cultures and techniques,” says Ibby Moubadder, the owner of Nour. “We've brought modern-Australian techniques and ways of cooking to make the food the way we want to.” The kitchen is lead by Palestinian head chef Nader Shayeb (ex-Moro, London) and Israeli Ram Kimelfeld (ex-Raphael, Tel Aviv) as sous chef. The executive chef is Roy Ner (ex-Aria). Expect hearty stews, charcoal roasts, Lebanese dumplings and a pumpkin cheesecake served with halva ice-cream.
A seafood restaurant from Brent Savage and Nick Hildebrandt (the team behind Bentley, Yellow and Monopole) has opened in the space that was home to the Noma Australia pop-up. A 1950s speedboat hangs from the ceiling and the menu is diverse. There is kingfish served with a black-bean vinaigrette, a “curry-like” Murray cod and a two-storey seafood platter. The wine list is white-heavy, to match the seafood-based menu, and includes lighter-variety reds.
Italian born Matteo Zamboni (Ormeggio and Pilu at Freshwater) has opened Zambo in Surry Hills. “I kept thinking, day after day, that this was the place that I wanted to have my own restaurant,” Zamboni says. “I love the mentality of people when they go out. They’re very open to try things.” The menu is highly experimental and marries innovative technique with Italian ingredients. Choose between a four- or six-course menu, both of which will take you on a journey through the Italian countryside. There’s fried farfalle pasta, smoked trout atop a beetroot reduction and. It doesn’t sound Italian, but it is.