Broadway Shopping Centre isn’t playing around when it says it’s being made over.
On level one there will be an Eataly-inspired food court called Merchants of Ultimo. It is by George Michael, who is also behind CBD Italian eateries Bacco, Mero Mero and Janus. The new, five-station mini food court is slated to open in September.
Eataly is one of the world’s largest Italian marketplaces with stores all over the world. Michael’s smaller set up, based on the Eataly concept, will be an all-in-one republic of Italian-inspired cuisine.
“Broadway originally wanted me to do a big restaurant, with a full menu of pastas,” says Michael. “But that doesn’t work at a shopping centre. This does.”
The stations offered include a new outpost (Michael’s third) of The Garden cafe. It will offer an organic, choose-your-own salad bar specialising in grilled meat and rotisserie chicken. There will be a focus on omelets in the morning.
He’s also enlisted Da Mario chef David Cowrill’s wood-fire expertise for pizza bar Pizza Mario. And Ex-Rockpool pastry apprentice Brendan Dewar will bake chocolate-truffle tarts and cherry danishes for his dessert bar, Leave It To B.
“Brendan used to be my head pastry chef at Bacco and he’s one of the best in Australia,” says Michael. “He loves the whole Eataly concept, and just jumped at the chance.”
Nero’s Brew is another of the stands, and baristas there will experiment with Single O roasts. Meat, bread and olive-oil providore Henry’s Block will make slow-cooked rotisserie meats fore Dewar’s paninis.
“We’ve just got in a $50,000 rotisserie from Argentina, this really big beautiful machine,” says Michael.
There will be a Piaggio scooter parked in its own garage in the middle of Merchants of Ultimo. This space will act like a store-within-a-store. Michael thinks it will be useful for hosting guest chefs and other events and attractions.
“One day you might find Dewar there, spruiking still-warm sugar-coated Nutella doughnuts, and a Cowrill, fire-licked special. Merchants’ head chef is close to being finalised, so Michael can’t reveal who else is involved. But he promised they’re a “big deal”.
Merchants of Ultimo is slated to open mid-September.