Squirreled away in the vibrant and congenial pedestrian-only alleyway of Llankelly Place is a tiny eatery with a big focus on great take-away and relaxed, top-value dining in. Spilling out onto the footpath, Wilbur’s Place barely seats 20 people, so be prepared to queue on a Friday night. But the boxes of salted cod fritters or pork and prune arancini, dishes of skirt steak with crispy polenta, lunch rolls filled with porchetta and breakfast sandwiches of gravlax are totally worth any wait.
We’ll give you the lowdown: it’s the team behind Bourke Street Bakery (David McGuinness and Paul Allam) that have brought us this diminutive hole-in-the-wall, expanding their repertoire of delicious, quality food, so the line is hardly a surprise. They opened late last year – not long after the latest Bourke Street Bakery branch opened just a hop away in Macleay Street, Potts Point – and their reputation preceded them.
The design of the space is simple: a few street-side seats for relaxed lunches and dinners with BYO wine, seats lining the walls, a counter inside and a view to the bustling kitchen. The sculpted awning is the standout from the street, while red chequered flooring, white tiles and blond wood keep everything else fresh and understated. After all, it’s the food that keeps people coming back.
In fact, it’s so simple and tiny that it might almost be a food truck, and it’s just another great example of why excellent food in Sydney needn’t cost the earth, or have a harbour view.
The bread here (of course) takes it cues from Bourke Street recipes, but the regularly changing menu is unquestionably different.
We recommend staying for a cosy seat, but if you just can’t wait, everything on the menu is available to go, with a friendly pin-board reminder above the kitchen happily declaring ‘we’re all about take-away’.