We’ve all been there: lost in another world as we wander the exhibitions of the Art Gallery of NSW, only to be brought back to reality by the sound of our stomach reminding us we’ve accidentally skipped lunch. Luckily, just across the road from the gallery, there’s the newly opened Terrace on the Domain.

Formerly The Pavilion on the Domain, the space has undergone extensive renovations by leaseholder Trippas White Group, which is also behind CBD spots Reign, Esquire, and Botanic House.

“It’s a nice corner of the garden,” head chef Luca Ferrandi (ex-The Winery, Manly Wine) tells Broadsheet. “And sitting out on the terrace in the afternoon light has such a great atmosphere.”

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Ferrandi grew up near Lake Como in Italy and has worked in restaurants since he was 15 – he's now 31, and cooking is what he knows best. “When I first arrived in Australia [in 2011] I started working at The Winery in Surry Hills. I couldn’t speak a word of English but just told them to show me a picture of what they wanted and I could cook it,” he explains.

Previously the sous chef at Pavilion on the Domain, Ferrandi was promoted to head chef when his predecessor Damien Worthington left to become executive chef at Reign and Esquire (both in the Queen Victoria Building) earlier this year.

Terrace on the Domain honours Ferrandi’s heritage with a rustic Italian menu that revisits classics in a new way, but doesn’t overcomplicate things. “All you need is the right ingredients, the right oil, the right vegetables. You don’t really need to do anything else,” he says.

Expect dishes such as black spaghetti with spanner crab; lamb rump served with black-olive tapenade; and barramundi with herbed breadcrumbs, pickled shallot and anchovy mayo. For dessert there’s a tiramisu made from Ferrandi’s family recipe.

Also on-site is the Terrace Eatery, a more casual diner that’s open for breakfast and lunch, with a menu that can be enjoyed al fresco in the sun (overlooking the lawns that surround the restaurant) or as takeaway. The breakfast menu includes a bacon-and-egg roll with barbeque sauce; fruit and yoghurt options; and a Mediterranean bowl with fregola (a Sardinian-style pasta), zucchini, tomato, bacon, a poached egg and a tahini dressing. For lunch, there are burgers, pizzas, wraps, and a sausage roll and pie of the day.

The Terrace Bar, open from 11.30am until late, introduces a new concept to the Domain: a late-night outdoor bar. It’s great for after-work drinks. Watch the city lights turn on as you throw back a Tiramisu Martini prepared with cold-brew coffee, pinot noir, crème de cacao, choc bitters, mascarpone and an espresso shot. There are also eight pizza options and an extensive list of Italian and Australian wines, as well as craft beer. Ferrandi hints at Sangria and Mojito jugs in the coming months.

The renovation has brought excitement back to the venue, with most of the kitchen team staying on from Pavilion on the Domain. “Obviously the venue is now beautiful, but we’ve also lifted the standards with our food. The quality is better, there’s more refinement, more research into the food, and just a whole lot more love,” says Ferrandi.

Terrace on the Domain

1 Art Gallery Road, Sydney
1300 300 278

Hours:
Terrace on the Domain
Mon to Fri 11.30am–4pm
Sat & Sun 8am–4pm

Terrace Eatery
Mon to Sun 8am–4pm

Terrace Bar
Mon to Sun 11.30am–late

terraceonthedomain.com.au