Eighteen levels above Wentworth Avenue in Surry Hills, fine diner Kiln is the crown jewel at Sydney’s Ace Hotel. The kitchen is led by head chef Mitch Orr, best known for his genre-busting work at seminal, now-closed Rushcutters Bay restaurant Acme.
Orr's menu here centres around woodfired cooking and world-class produce; drawing on native ingredients and flavours from Italy, Japan and Southeast Asia. A big part of Orr’s reputation hinges on pasta (the pig’s head macaroni with egg yolk Acme was Sydney-famous), but there’s none to be found here. Instead, there’s a big focus on seafood and vegetables, with a couple of meatier dishes thrown in. Also, Orr’s calling card: Jatz crackers with smoked butter and anchovy.
The wine list is curated by P&V co-founder Mike Bennie, and features drops from new and interesting winemakers by the glass and carafe. (There’s also a rotating special on tap.) Like the food menu, cocktail flavours lean Italian and Asian, while drawing in native ingredients.
The room is a tribute to the colours and textures of Australia’s landscape, with floor-to-ceiling windows offering views rarely seen in Sydney. In a nod to the site’s history (a former Kiln), designer Fiona Lynch worked with Spacecraft Studio to create pigments from salvaged waste materials found during the hotel’s building phase. Those pigments have been used to paint linens that hang from Kiln’s walls and window frames. A striking stone, chrome and aluminium bar connects two terraces, both with retractable roofs for sunny days.
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