The ever-Instagrammed sea-salt soft serve, matcha-latte bowls and flaming cocktails in tiki heads are right at home at Regent Place in the CBD. Diners visit the mostly Asian eateries across the two levels of Regent Palace to eat until midnight. The centre is abuzz with change at the moment. It has just opened two new eateries, and it’s about to welcome one more.
In August Uncle Tetsu’s will open at Regent Place. Japanese-born but internationally famous, the cheesecake-centric brand will open in a George Street shopfront. Everything will be made in the huge kitchen inside the shop, but the serving area will only comprise 10 per cent of the total space.
“There will only be standing room,” says Mizokami Tatsushi, founder of Uncle Tetsu’s and its namesake. “The Sydney kitchen is the biggest in the world.”
Tatsushi studied in Launceston 42 years ago, and says he fell in love with the cheese and dairy products available in Australia’s south. Now all Uncle Tetsu locations (about 100 of them) use Australian dairy.
“We will use Australian cheese in Australia’s number one location – my dream come true,” says Tatsushi.
The Sydney store’s initial menu will feature Tetsu’s famous original cheesecakes (known for their fluffy texture), in one six-inch size. There will also be madeleine’s in matcha and matcha with redbean flavours. No seating is planned for the space. Instead the focus will be cheesecakes to go.
Then there’s ice-cream at Zero Degrees. Gaining traction on social media since it opened at the end of May, Zero Degrees’ puffer-fish ice-cream comprises a “fish-shape waffle cone with vanilla soft serve and red bean inside, and popping candy, chocolate syrup and fruit sticks as toppings”, says owner Do Young Kim. Zero Degrees also offers a Korean shaved-milk sherbet topped with fruit, and popsicles made with mango and berries.
In a centre already rife with stand-out ice-cream options, Kim says Zero Degrees is bringing something new: “I wanted to make an ice-cream which is very special,” says Kim, “not just the common ice-creams such as soft serve with the cones.”
For savoury options there’s Huang Tai Ji, described by owner Jacky Lu as a “grab-and-go style takeaway” spot. “We’re presenting really traditional Chinese street food, but we’re redesigning it in a modern way.” It’s the first Australian opening for the brand (there are more than 40 stores in China). The graffiti art on the walls was done by Li Anyuan and Yang Yang, a husband-and-wife artistic duo. The brief menu will feature savoury Chinese pancakes, similar to crepes, called jianping, spicy wontons and a selection of burritos.
Uncle Tetsu’s grand opening is July 19, from 12pm. Huang Tai Ji’s opening is June 30.
Shop 52, 501 George Street (inside Regent Place)
Mon to Sun 12pm–10pm