Applejack, the hospitality group behind The Botanist, The Butler and Della Hyde, has opened its first CBD venue, sliding Bopp & Tone in the former Steel Bar and Grill site, opposite Wynyard Park.

Named after the founders’ grandfathers, Ben Carroll’s pop Anthony “Tone” Adams (who’s still kicks on at the ripe age of 94) and Hamish Watts’s grandpa Keith “Bopp” Evans, Bopp & Tone has been designed – from the menus to the interior – to conjure the nostalgia and optimistic post-World War II era they lived in.

“There’s a serious vibe in the city and we’re just going to lighten it up a little bit,” says group executive chef Jason Roberson.

The venue is in the thick of the city’s business community, with a busy bus interchange moments from the entrance. But pass through its large doors and the Luchetti Krelle-designed room (The Butler, ACME, Sake at The Rocks) takes you to an opulent world that does feel like it’s from another time. There are dark timber furnishings, heavy marble surfaces and hues of emerald green and mustard, as well as big windows that make this a great lunchtime dining option. There’s an alfresco terrace with plenty of hanging greenery, as well as an open kitchen so you can see the action.

Roberson and head chef Sa Va'afusuaga, who was most recently head chef at The Botanist, have developed a share-style Mediterranean menu that revolves around the kitchen’s charcoal oven and its 900-kilogram wood grill.

Roberson is particular excited about using charcoal to prepare the seafood dishes, such as whole Hawkesbury River calamari and king prawns from Mooloolaba. “There’s nothing better than cooking with quality seafood on natural flames without having to do too much with it, and let the flavour speak for themselves,” says Roberson.

The wood grill is reserved for charring meats including spatchcock and a one-kilogram grass-fed T-bone.

Desserts are in the hand of pastry chef Shikha Khandelwal (ex Melbourne’s Vue de Monde), who will be preparing house-made gelato and charcoal-smoked chocolate and liquorice ganache.

Bar manager Craig Kerrison and the group’s bar guy Lachy Sturrock have designed a drinks list that mirrors the food menu, incorporating plenty of Australian and Mediterranean nuances. For example the Old Fashioned is mixed with wattleseed and the Martini is infused with tomato. There are also more than 121 wines and (what we are fans of), carafes of house white and red wine.

Bopp & Tone
60 Carrington Street, Sydney
(02) 9299 9997

Mon & Tue 11.30am–11pm
Wed & Thu 11.30am–12am
Fri & Sat 11.30am–1am
Sun 12pm–10.30pm

This article first appeared on Broadsheet on November 12, 2018. Menu items may have changed since publication.