Wilhelmina’s Liquid and Larder is the latest venture from Sydney booze barons, James Bradey and Warren Burns, the duo behind popular bars Grandma’s and The Wild Rover. “The main difference with Wilhelmina’s is that food is now a major priority,” says Bradey. Running the kitchen is recent Masterchef contestant Jamie Fleming, who, for regulars at Grandma’s, will be a familiar face – the young chef was a bartender at Grandma’s before the show. “We’re big believers in keeping it in the family,” says Bradley.
Fleming has designed a menu made for sharing based around simple, seasonal produce, with offerings changing weekly. Fleming’s approach is, “All about letting the star ingredient shine,” says Bradey. Dishes such as a colourful heirloom tomato and smoked burrata salad; Newcastle pippies with white wine butter and bread; and the must-try Rangers Valley wagyu oyster blade with beets and a mustard and mushroom ketchup showcase beautiful produce. Local, boutique wines complement the dishes alongside craft beers and a vibrant cocktail list.
“We wanted to create a strong, sexy and feminine vibe with the interiors,” says Bradey. Planters hang from the ceiling and a bright jumble of succulents and handcrafted ceramics adorn timber-topped communal tables. Lounge areas are scattered with colourful throw pillows and a painted mural by local artist Anya Brock – rumoured to depict the dream girl, Wilhelmina herself – adds a splash of colour and playfulness to the space. “When the windows are open the reggae tunes are playing, the sun is shining, it feels like you’re on holidays watching the world go by on Darling Street,” says Bradey.