The Eveleigh Carriageworks, adjacent to Sydney University in inner Sydney, was once the place where the steam locomotives that choofed through the suburbs were constructed. After years of neglect the shell has been reinvigorated with galleries, performance spaces, and a popular weekend farmer’s market. But until now there was something missing – somewhere to eat and drink that came up to the quality of the creative reuse of this old industrial hulk.
To fill that need John Wilson has recently made a welcome return to the burgeoning Sydney restaurant scene with johnandpeter Canteen. A sharp, white space has been delineated amongst the old industrial machinery that is still in place. A long open servery overlooks the raised dining platform furnished with white tables and chairs and black & white Marimekko cushions. The room spills out onto a louche outdoor drinks area.
The food is Italian inspired, invigorated by John’s well-known obsession with the best ingredients and faultless attention to detail. We particularly liked the fat green asparagus with cacio e pepe, the vitello tonnato, the broadbeans with ricotta and mint, and a delicious grilled swordfish with olives and red cabbage. At the weekend they do what they call a ‘long’ lunch, with extended hours, making it an excellent place to flop on Saturday after shopping at the Farmer’s Market – and on Sunday, well who needs an excuse?
If you don’t feel like eating you can always just hang at the bar.
John and Peter are continuing to carry on their A-list private catering business (they did Nicole and Keith’s wedding for instance) and there is a private room at Carriageworks which can be used for functions as well.
245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh
(02) 8571 9004
Wed to Fri noon-3pm, 6pm-late
Sat noon-5pm, 6pm-late