Everyone at Gerrale Street Kitchen will tell you the restaurant is about simplicity and approachability – home-style food in a casual setting. They need to give themselves more credit.
The menu may be full of generally recognisable dishes, but they are more intricate and considered than they appear on paper. Then there's the venue. Hardly any one's living room, it's a Humphrey and Edwards design, the same group that did Chiswick. The open-air, glass-heavy fit-out is reminiscent of the Woollahra restaurant, but the space has a different palette, using the colours of the bushy strips between beaches and forest.
Chris Feros, the Feros Group’s CEO, was inspired by casual fine diners in Los Angeles such as Gjelina. Like the popular LA restaurant, Gerrale Street Kitchen is ambitiously serving a varied menu from breakfast to dinner. One section of the restaurant houses a long bar serving coffee from Gerringong team Daily Grind; crisp-based wood-fired pizza; light salads; sandwiches; and roast meats. The other bigger section does share plates.
Cameron Bailey is the chef across both sections. “It’s simple, contemporary cooking. We're just using amazing produce.” Bailey says.
The wood-fired oven is the kitchen’s centrepiece. On some days it procures entire suckling pigs, but almost every other day it delivers flat breads, roast pumpkin and the kind of lamb shoulder that makes knives redundant. To get it that tender Bailey does a 12-hour sous vide before roasting it. It comes salty, sweet and sizzling in a stone pot filled with a base of pearl barley, native saltbush and apple chutney.
Bailey also makes fresh pasta, whole duck, lobster rolls, flame-charred Angus T-bones and tuna tartares with sesame seeds, strings of chilli, chard, puffed rice and ponzu. The latter is so delicately balanced and textured it almost contradicts Bailey’s simple-food rhetoric.
Wine is by the glass, bottle and on tap. Cocktails are classic or fruity, and beers are classic and new. Together with Bailey’s food and the beautifully open fit-out it’s a significant stepping-stone not just for the Feros Group, but also for Cronulla.
Gerrale Street Kitchen
19–21 Gerrale Street, Cronulla
(02) 9523 4111
Restaurant Mon to Fri 8am–12pm
Sat & Sun 7am–12pm