Sydney is living through a period of rooftop revitalisation. There’s been the recent opening of the (very excellent) Old Mate’s Place bar in the CBD, the Palm Springs-inspired The Rooftop in Pyrmont, and Hotel William on the edge of the city, which has given its upstairs bar a photographer Slim Aarons-style makeover.
Now, Westfield Sydney will add two new restaurants to its long-vacant CBD rooftop space – a contemporary Cantonese restaurant, Duck & Rice, and Middle Eastern diner called Babylon.
Taking inspiration from 1920s Shanghai, Duck & Rice will occupy the smaller slice of the 2000-square-metre space, offering indoor and outdoor dining areas for up to 400 people. Neighbouring Babylon will have a kitchen with a wood fire, two large bars, intimate dining spaces – some outside – and a capacity of 800 people. Both will face west and offer views of the adjacent Sydney Tower.
Brisbane-based Mantle Group Hospitality (MGH) is behind the venues, and there are plans to open another four in Sydney by 2020. It runs the James Squire microbrewery The Squire’s Landing in The Rocks, a cattle farm in northern NSW, a cocoa plantation in Papua New Guinea, and a fruit, vegetable and herb farm in Pullenvale, west of Brisbane, which is where the group gets its produce from. There’s a butcher, pastry chef and coffee roaster in a central production kitchen in Brisbane, too.
Brisbane-based architecture firm Hogg and Lamb is responsible for the design of both restaurants.
The two Westfield Sydney restaurants are slated to open in 2019.