Alex&Co. is a 350-seat riverside site. It is bright, warm and big enough to have separate areas for the restaurant, cafe and bar. Despite the $2.5 million fit-out, the interiors aren’t fussy; lots of indoor ferns dot the white walls and there are cushioned banquettes. Long tables for groups reflect the restaurant’s concept of shared plates in a shared space.
For a venue of this size the menu is relatively compact. Executive chef Kyle Quy’s (Nola Smokehouse) obsession with detail shows up in the Tasmanian wasabi used in the cuttlefish salad, and the wild Australian lemons and sea asparagus that dress cured scallops. Quy was inspired by Parramatta’s culture and his experience with spice at Nola to create a “Parra spice”. It includes turmeric, cumin and sumac. It’s used in the lamb ribs, chargrilled chicken and fries.
There’s plenty to snack on: mussels, wings, Dorito corn cobs, a couple of nine-inch pizzas and some bigger meat dishes to share. The breakfast menu is a list of cafe staples; try the Turkish menemen (scrambled eggs with tomato, onion and sausage). The venue encourages family outings with a kid’s menu available for breakfast and dinner.
A few wines are available by the glass and the menu features more than 20 different tequilas and rum. Jugs of cocktails promise good times for groups.