James Viles – a chef at the forefront of the paddock-to-plate movement in Australia – will bring his Southern Highland’s restaurant Biota Dining to Sydney for a month-long residence. He’ll swap his usual rural landscape for gritty Chippendale this June when he moves into the former Silvereye space inside The Old Clare Hotel.
The Bowral fine diner has given Sydneysiders a reason to get out of town for a number of years, serving everything from sweet snapper crab with slithers of white peach to beef cooked over coals.
While details of the menu are scant, we know this: there will be five courses made up from a mix of snacks, individual and shared dishes, including plates such as salt-and-pepper crab from far North Queensland served whole with a spray of wild greens.
Steered towards the places and ingredients that have inspired the chef over the past seven years, this version of the restaurant will be more casual and fun.
Biota’s sommelier Ben Shephard will pair drinks to each dish. As he does in the Bowral restaurant, that means interesting Australian wines (they will only have 10 on the list), and a beer made with weeds. Cocktails will be mixed with Australian spirits.
The four-week stint will see Viles joined by chefs Paul Carmichael (Momofuku Seiobo), Lennox Hastie (Firedoor), David Moyle (Melbourne’s Longsong), Aaron Turner (Geelong’s Igni) and Beau Clugston (formerly of Le 6 Paul Bert and Noma), who will add a special dish to the menu when they make their cameo.
Biota Chippendale will be open Wednesday to Thursday for dinner, and lunch and dinner Friday and Saturday. The five-course menu will be $110 per person, with beverage pairings $68 per person.
Bookings can be made online biotachippendale.com.
Biota will take over The Old Clare Hotel from June 11 to July 7 this year.