Kensington Street Social
Between 2010 and 2015 Jason Atherton opened more than 15 restaurants. He’s had Michelin stars and international awards showered on him like confetti. Kensington Street Social is his cafe, restaurant and bar hybrid in Chippendale’s Old Clare Hotel. It marries the aesthetics of a dilapidated warehouse and an old but classy hotel lobby.
The venue isn’t simply a replica of Atherton’s international ventures. It's run by Sydney people - the crux of the culinary vision is by Robert Daniels (ex-Coogee Pavilion) and Tony Gibson (Manly Pavilion).
The breakfast menu is short and faintly reflects Atherton's British identity. There's mackerel omelette with spring onion and bacon; poached rhubarb with spelt granola; and a bacon-and-egg brioche roll with HP sauce. The breakfast drinks section is almost more interesting. It features a virgin Bloody Mary and Long Island Iced Tea alongside two smoothies, one containing beetroot juice.
Pop in later to take advantage of the two-course express lunch deal, which includes a matched wine from sommelier Lindsay Carr. He has a penchant for the new-school makers such as Patrick Sullivan, Jamsheed and Koerner.
Later still, you'll choose from snacks and starters; the venue's signature sourdough flatbreads; and a catch-all section titled "Meat, Fish and Shellfish". Expect umami-rich foods that cherry-pick key ingredients from Japan, Italy and beyond. See: kale, chilli, nashi pear and bottarga; or Wagyu with miso butterscotch.
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