The Blue Door
Chef Dylan Cashman’s guiding philosophy is one that speaks to provenance. At his 20-seat restaurant in Surry Hills, whole and half animals are used in their entirety to ensure zero-waste, and the menu changes weekly to emphasise high-quality seasonal ingredients.
A previous dish that exemplifies this approach featured Camden Valley Farm’s free-range chicken breast, served alongside Harvest Farms’ charred cabbage and Nimbin Valley brown rice. The breast was served for dinner, and the remainder of the chicken for lunch. Other past highlights include smoked Aquna Murray cod fish-pie dumplings, Newcastle pippies with Maremma duck XO sauce, and a confit Maremma duck and fermented-garlic sausage roll.
As of 2022, the restaurant launched a seven-course, dinner-only tasting menu designed to showcase NSW farmers and producers the team has visited in-person, and works with directly.
Wines are carefully selected, with a particular focus on New South Wales producers. There’s also a special list stacked with incredibly rare vintage champagnes, limited-run international drops, and cocktail specials. Unusual for a fine diner of this calibre, every Thursday night is BYO night, where you can raid your own cellar and bring your pick to the restaurant.
As well as numerous posts abroad, Cashman has worked in some of Australia’s best kitchens, including Sean’s Panorama, Cottage Point Inn and Paper Daisy – before becoming head chef at Fins in Kingscliff, in the NSW Northern Rivers region.
This is the second edition of the restaurant, which originally opened in Palm Beach, Queensland, and closed in 2018. For the sequel, Cashman undertook much of the construction work himself – including the installation and painting of the venue’s namesake blue door. A crisp and modern design is replete with dark-wood furniture and hanging pendant lights.