Freda’s is an exciting addition to an otherwise barren section of Chippendale, and with its speakeasy vibe is causing quite a stir.
The converted century-old warehouse space sports the increasingly popular concrete floors and exposed beam and brickwork that’s become a trademark of the small-bar boom in Sydney, along with a custom-made collection of eclectic, distressed furniture and Mexican prints and art. But it’s the staff and atmosphere that are setting this place apart.
With Simon Cancio (previously a founder of Luxe Bakery and seen at Vini, Bourke Street Bakery and Brasserie Bread) and Marty Campaign (ex Giant Steps and Gin Palace in Victoria) heading up the show and banging out cocktails, it’s no wonder staff are well versed in the daily drinks and food on offer. Head chef Ibrahim Kasif (ex Fish Face and Bistro Moncur), meanwhile, turns out mouth-watering slow roasted pork shoulder with pickles and pesto.
The menu, which changes daily, is influenced by trips to the Sydney Fish Markets and offers lunchy sandwich and salad options before rolling out a rotating list of four or five dinner options, which might include an escabeche of mussels, sardines with pinenuts and currents or snapper tartare served with breads and pickles.
The cocktail list sports grapefruit mescal margaritas or cognac chocolate blends, while there’s a compact list of Australian and Mediterranean wines and coffee hailing from Mecca Espresso. With both its management and culinary pedigree, Freda’s is a slick and secret nook that’s drawing in office locals for lunch and roving drinkers after hours.
Just keep an eye out for the handwritten sign.