South Eveleigh, just near Redfern Station, was where Australia’s national railway network was born in the 19th century, and it’s still home to a number of heritage-listed former railway workshops. Since 2016 Mirvac has been developing the former industrial site, which will eventually accommodate 18,000 workers.
As part of that rollout, a food hub has been slowing opening over the past few months. Already serving food is Rara Ramen’s tiny, Tokyo-inspired Rara Chan, which specialises in tsukemen – a dipping-style ramen (thick noodles and toppings are served in a separate bowl to the broth).
There’s also an outpost of Eat Fuh, which serves a stellar pho alongside other Vietnamese specialities; Japanese salad bar Fishbowl; casual Egyptian-fusion restaurant Bekya; and Steve Costi’s Famous Fish, among others.
Next off the rank is one of the world’s first permanent no-waste bars, Re – an ambitious project devised by innovator Matt Whiley in collaboration with Icebergs’ Maurice Terzini. From start to finish Re will be as waste-free as possible: food that would otherwise be sent to landfill will be routed into cocktails; the majority of materials used to build the bar have been recycled; and everything that can’t be composted, reused or diverted will be seriously vetted before it goes in the bin.
Whiley says the aim isn’t to create a “concept” or a bar that’s about preaching to people. Instead, it’s about punters having a good time – but if they want to peel back the layers on the zero-waste aspect, he’s happy to oblige.
Then, in May, one of Sydney’s most anticipated restaurants – Kylie Kwong’s new eatery in the Locomotive Workshop – will open. But don’t expect another version of Billy Kwong, her restaurant that fused Cantonese food with Indigenous ingredients and redefined Chinese dining. Kwong, who is the precinct ambassador (for food, culture and community), plans to set up a casual eatery that harks back to what’s most important to her as a cook. “It’s going to have a very simple menu, but a very meaningful menu,” she told us.
Perennially busy cafe The Grounds will open its third Sydney venue and event space at the new lifestyle hub. A new concept store by Romeo’s IGA Food Hall is also opening in the Locomotive Workshop later this month. It’ll have a pizzeria, patisserie, sushi bar, roastery and florist. Orazio D’Elia, owner and executive chef at Matteo, has collaborated with Romeo’s to create the concept.