House Made Hospitality might be a newcomer to the dining scene, but it’s planning to be in it for the long haul – starting with Grana, an Italian-inspired all-day dining hub.
Grana is one of four venues the hospitality group will be has opened in Hinchcliff House, the anchor venue of Circular Quay’s newest dining and shopping precinct, Quay Quarter. The heritage-listed building formerly operated as a wool store (one of only two of its kind remaining in Sydney) and has been in Circular Quay since the late 1870s. The team behind House Made Hospitality includes Stephen Seckold (ex-Flying Fish executive chef) as culinary director; Jason Williams (formerly of Singapore bar 28 Hong Kong Street) as beverage director; Roger Gregg (owner of The Carrington Hotel in Surry Hills) as commercial director; Justin Newton (former general manager of hospitality at beverage giant Lion) as operations director; and Auckland restaurateur Scott Brown as creative director.
Grana, which is Italian for grain, is located on the ground floor of the handsome sandstone building and features an in-house bakery, a pasta room and a pastry kitchen. All three stations use flour milled on-site every day from grains supplied by NSW farmers. The mill sits proudly at the front of the bakery and has been manufactured in Austria using pine and specialty cut stones.
If you arrive early in the day, expect to be greeted by sweet-smelling pastries including croissants, bombolone and gingerbread loaves from the bakery. For something more savoury, head to the dining room and order from the à la carte breakfast menu. Choices include stracciatella and agrodolce (a sweet-and-sour Italian sauce) tomato salad with focaccia; blue swimmer crab omelette; and sweet potato and egg-yolk ravioli with brown-butter sauce.
Enjoy them alongside breakfast cocktails such as the Garibaldi, made with a blend of Italian bitters and “freshly fluffed” orange juice, or a refreshing Breakfast Gimlet with milk-washed gin, lime marmalade and fresh lime. A selection of smoothies, cold-pressed juices and house-made sodas are also available.
Come afternoon, the menu choices are broken down under bread and dairy, pasta, seafood, meat, market (vegetables and salads) and desserts. Highlights include kelp-infused gigli (a ruffle-edged pasta) with Moreton Bay bugs and arrabiata sauce; smoked raw beef served with yesterday’s bread, horseradish and egg yolk; and pink snapper dressed with lemony salmoriglio dressing, black garlic and potato aioli.
As with the food menu, the generous wine list mixes it up with local and Italian drops. There’s also a good selection of amaro to end the meal.
“It’s very casual; there’s something for everybody. No matter who you’re dining with, no matter what time of day … we have something for you,” Brown tells Broadsheet.
The venue’s bright and open design was left up to the crew behind Melbourne interiors studio Mitchell & Eades (Melbourne’s Carlton Wine Room, Hawker Hall and Broadsheet Kitchen). There’s soft tones throughout to highlight the 150-year-old building’s restored beauty, including existing timber beams, sandstone walls and dark wooden floors. There’s also a hard-to-miss 40-metre-long, pearly white custom-made benchtop.
The Italian-inspired theme is carried through the other venues in Hinchcliff House. Apollonia, a moody underground basement bar named after an ill-fated character in The Godfather, boasts a drinks menu of Italian herbal liqueurs, spirits and cocktails, including a selection of Negronis.
According to Brown, Apollonia is a concept that Williams, who he dubs a “Godfather freak”, has been “wresting with in his head for a little while now”. There is also Lana, a “sophisticated and a bit more experiential” restaurant, and a sprawling top-floor function space.
Ground Floor, 5–7 Young Street, Sydney
(02) 7228 1400
Mon to Sat 6.30am–11pm