Continuing on from the first half of our feature on Sydney’s upcoming venues, here’s what to look forward to.
Matteo Zamboni at Marque
Matteo Zamboni, the former Pilu at Freshwater head chef, is moving into the Surry Hills space previously occupied by Marque. Word is the mysterious new restaurant won’t follow the fine-dining legacy of its predecessor and will instead be a more casual, Italian-focused eatery.
Opening late August.
Cubby's Kitchen Pop-up
Did you know Toko's owner is Lebanese? Matt Yazbek knows how to make sushi like a pro, but his new venture is something a little closer to home. Cubby's Kitchen will be a modern Lebanese restaurant, with his whole family involved (including his mother beside him on the pans), at the Crown Street Fish Shop site. He has plans to make it permanent, in a site nearby.
Opening late August.
New ideas are always welcome, and there aren’t too many all-seafood brunch menus in Sydney. Josh Niland’s Saint Peter will be a seafood-focused restaurant. It is slated to open in Paddington. He plans to process whole fish in-house, use fish off-cuts, make his own preserves and make fish and chips with non-standard flaky white fish and batters using vodka, honey and VB. It sounds ambitious for Niland’s first venture, but with a CV including Cafe Nice, est. and Fish Face we’ve got high hopes.
Nerada Kudinar and Raymond Lim always wanted to open a restaurant. Now that Ms Murray has had the send off it deserved, they have the chance. The restaurant will be Yan, a Wolli Creek neighbourhood eatery that carries Lim’s (ex-Attica and Les Amis) fine-dining experience onto a more relaxed and flexible menu. Lim plans to base Yan’s cuisine around the use of smoke and his and Kudinar’s Asian heritages.
Merivale’s imperial expansion in Sydney is finally reaching the inner west with the renovation of the Queen Victoria Hotel. Patrick Friesen (Papi Chulo) and Eric Koh (Tim Ho Wan) will be in the kitchen doing various playful (check #enmorechinese on Instagram) versions of both Hong Kong and Westernised Cantonese classics.
Opening September to November.
Porteño on Holt Street
The original Porteño has a limited life. The Cleveland site has a future as a function space, but Porteño the restaurant will live on at the old Movida site on Holt Street. At this stage we know the asador (Argentinian barbeque) and the parrillero (grill) will continue in the new space. What else we’ll be eating there is down to whatever co-owners Sarah Doyle and Elvis Abrahanowicz discovered on their recent research trip to Argentina.
El Chapel Bar and Restaurant
The name will likely change but the stand-in makes sense because it essentially describes what to expect. The Enmore cafe isn’t going to be a 10-seat takeaway for long. Piero Pignatti Morano, the cafe's owner, plans to turn the storeroom and courtyard into a 50–80 seat vegetarian pasta restaurant and bar. Morano will be joined by Tio’s Cerveceria and The Cliff Dive’s Alex Dowd doing drinks.
There’s so much going on here it deserves its own section. Elvis Abrahanowicz and Joe Valore welcome former Bodega chef Joel Humphreys back to open Bodega 1902, a 1920s-themed diner which will have a boutique wine store inside. Sustainability-focused fish-and-chip cafe Fish and Co. is moving in and past executive chef Tibbie Chiu returns. TV presenter, chef and writer Jared Ingersoll has partnered with Seagrass (Meat and Wine Co.) for Butcher and Farmer. Ingersoll says he plans to process whole animals on-site, cook over an open charcoal pit and feature in-house-made animal products in an adjoining butcher and deli. Eugenio Maiale’s (A Tavola) will bring homemade pasta to his new bar, Flour Eggs Water. Coffee will come from Little Marionette’s Garçon. Gelato will be by Gelato Messina.
Opening between August and November.
The only uncontroversial move at Barangaroo has been the development’s commitment to quality food options. We’ve already received Noma Australia, Anason, Belle’s Hot Chicken and more, but that’s barely the start. In September Bar H’s Hamish Ingham and Rebecca Lines will open Banskii, an all-day restaurant that doubles up as a Vermouth bar. Sometime later that month Brent Savage and Nick Hildebrandt will open their yet-to-be-named project at the old Noma Australia site. They’ve spilled very little information on what it will be, but we do know they’ll do a complete renovation of the space and the menu will be based on sustainable seafood.
The most ambitious project though surely goes to either the 1300-metere-squared Dixon Hospitably Group development, or Matt Moran’s three-storey harbourside bonanza. Moran says his new venue will feature a different offering on each floor under a single design based on a “truly Australian experience”. The Dixon Hospitably Group plans a waterfront restaurant and bar with a Cuban, Art Deco-themed rooftop.
Opening between September and early 2017.
All opening dates are subject to change.