Since last year, The Goodsline, a cafe from Jack Hanna (former co-owner of popular destinations The Grounds of Alexandria and The Grounds of Sydney) has been ticking along on the Pyrmont peninsula. Now, it’s taking things up a notch with the appointment of AC Agra as head chef.

After more than a decade cheffing in the Philippines, Agra moved to Australia and put in several years at Mosman classic Bathers’ Pavilion, most recently as head chef. Now, he’s putting fine-dining touches on cafe standards. Smoked salmon rosti comes smeared with egg-yolk jam and caviar, eggs Benedict is lathered in a truffled bechamel, and scrambled eggs get a leg up with chorizo, togarashi and miso butter. Come lunchtime, there’s a slow-cooked lamb short-rib sandwich, and beetroot pastrami with stracciatella. Here’s what else he’s got planned for the cafe.

What’s your new job title?
Executive chef. I’m responsible for creating a seasonal breakfast and lunch menu for sit-down, as well as a take-away menu for our corporate patrons. I’m also very hands-on in the kitchen, managing my team and constantly exploring new ideas for the menu.

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Why did you decide to move to The Goodsline?
Doing breakfast and lunch service is very different for me, coming from a fine-dining background where we did set menus and degustations. The Goodsline is an exciting opportunity but also a challenge to create a refined breakfast and lunch menu offering.

I also couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to work alongside Jack Hanna, who’s a visionary and a veteran in the hospitality industry.

Do you have any fun plans or ideas for your new role?
I’m very excited to curate modern interpretations of breakfast and lunch classics. I like it to be fun without being too sophisticated. Moving forward, we also plan to hold special dinners in the venue.

Will you bring along any dishes or ideas you’re known for?
The food I create is a reflection of my years of working in different hospitality venues and learning from different chefs that I have worked with. And I’ve always been fascinated with the array of produce Australia has to offer, and it has been my inspiration in my cooking.

Will we see any cool ideas or dishes you think will thrill diners?
We just recently launched our winter menu. Top three favourites among our diners include the miso-butter chorizo scrambled eggs, smoked salmon rosti with avruga [caviar] and umami egg-yolk jam, and puffed quinoa-encrusted lamb with cavolo nero. Soon, I’ll be doing regular fun specials that I’m sure the diners will find exciting. Truffle season is coming up, and I have nice dishes lined up for it.

goodsgroup.com.au