Ursula’s is the first solo restaurant for acclaimed chef Phil Wood (Point Leo Estate, Rockpool Bar & Grill, Eleven Bridge) and his wife Lis Davies, who returned to Sydney from Victoria in 2021 and moved into the prized corner block on Paddington’s Hargrave Street that used to house Guillame and, before that, Darcy’s – a neighbourhood institution for 40 years.
While Ursula’s is inspired by the neighbourhood bistros of Europe, it’s also extremely elegant. The room is wrapped in colour; bold caramel tones and deep blues saturate the walls and floors. Classic Thonet chairs and crisp white tablecloths are offset by custom timber furniture.
Wood’s menu – gloriously illustrated in the Bemelmans-style – is full of produce-driven dishes that combine Australian flavours with classic European techniques. The coral trout with warrigal greens is inspired by early European settlers getting to know Australian bush food through Aboriginal contact, while the snapper dressed in a Keen’s curry and fennel-based vinaigrette speaks to classic French cooking. A twist on the peach Melba stars roasted and raw peach, raspberry syllabub, vanilla ice-cream and crisp toffee on top, in a nod to Dame Nellie herself.
Family-run wineries such as Tyrrell’s, Crawford River and Grosset fill out the wine list, and there’s a tight selection of classic cocktails. The Ursula’s Negroni is a white style made with Berto Aperitivo, Poor Toms Sydney dry gin and Regal Rogue.