When Neil Perry’s new restaurant Margaret finally opens its doors tomorrow, it will cement Double Bay as Sydney’s hottest food suburb on its way up and join Matteo, Bibo, Sinaloa, China Diner, Chinta Kechil, Lotus and Bills.
Yes, that’s right – bills. Through all the lockdown confusion over the past three and a half months, we almost forgot that Bill Granger opened his fourth Sydney cafe in Cross Street, Double Bay, in late May. The kitchen was just about to start flipping hundreds of ricotta hotcakes each week before staff found themselves packing kimchi cheese bowls and cocktails.
Bill Granger’s fourth cafe has opened in Double Bay, ready for your ricotta hotcake needs. Photo: Edwina Pickles
Opening a restaurant is a hit in the best of times, and nothing short of a nightmare and a little miracle during the lockdown. However, Granger’s sleek new outpost is far from the only place to launch during or just before lockdown. Here are the best new places to put back on your radar as Sydney reopens, with great love and praise to all the operators who have pushed through.
To the end-of-the-lockdown festivities
High-end tasting menus at home have been a lot of fun — and here’s hoping for a delivery platform Provider continues to thrive after lockdown — but yes, we have missed good food from talented chefs and floor staff. No one at home refolds my tablecloth between trips to the toilet.
Hinchcliff House (5-7 Young Street, Sydney) -not to be confused with Rocks Distillery Hickson The house opens soon-boasting four levels of booze and dining options in a wool shop on Circular Quay and Mediterranean-inspired Lana is the finest offer.
LLana has opened as part of the new Hinchcliff House development at Circular Quay, and Seafood Experience is a great way to celebrate the end of the lockdown Photo: Jiwon Kim
Eaters who were lucky enough to visit the lavish restaurant when the ribbon was cut in mid-June were treated to an $ 89 wine tasting menu featuring kelp-mayo-licked crab-toast, raw scallops sharpened by cumquat and yuzu kosho and shrimp-filled cappelletti verde. Expect more of the same when the pink marble dining room reopens on October 19th.
Meanwhile, Margaret is not the only Double Bay opening to be thrilled. Damien Monley, former owner of Woollahra’s Flat White Cafe, was to open Roxy’s (Shop R2, 30-36 Bay Street) next to mr. Perry in July, but will now welcome guests from next week and provide a more relaxed little bar atmosphere than the neighbor. That’s not to say you can’t get rid of a Middle Eastern ish party menu, though — Jerusalem bagels, hummus, pickled beets, and lamb shoulders cooked overnight, hey.
Mud crab with black pepper curry and other delicious Malaysian dishes from Amah by Ho Jiak in Chatswood. Photo: Delivered
Additional party can be obtained at Amah by Ho Jiak (District, 436 Victoria Avenue Chatswood). Chef Hun Loong opened the 200-seat Malaysian eatery — a tribute to his late grandmother’s homemade cooking — two weeks before the lockdown. Spicy wok-fried rice noodles with key crab and Chinese sausage are a signature, but we are very inclined to push the boat out with lobster from the tank steamed with ginger and soy.
Also a quick reminder that the pioneering Greek chef Peter Conistis reopened Alpha (236 Castlereagh Street, Sydney) in May after 15 months of closure and a dramatic renovation. There is no better time than now to enjoy spit-roasted lamb shoulder served with tzatziki and hortagreen while surrounded by shiny marble and whitewashed walls.
Galaktoboureko, Greek coffee, medjool dates, Metaxa and halva on the menu at the renewed Alpha. Photo: Edwina Pickles
For cocktails at a bar in real life
This year has been a bit of a Barry Crocker, so a few drinks at Barrie (107-109 Regent Street, Chippendale) will probably not go astray. Former employees Only bar manager Chris Garner opened Bazza at Old Freda’s site in June, and the neighborhood boozer will rock an evil Manhattan again from October 12th. Oh, how we have missed cocktails that were touched to order by a professional. Three cheers to the end of overly diluted homemade martinis.
Speaking of which, the martini guides at Maybe Sammy started pouring beautifully balanced cocktails on Dean and Nancy on the 22nd (2 Hunter Street, Sydney) at the end of May. Swank bar reopens next Wednesday for mid-century luxury and oscietra caviar.
Tacos, cocktails and good times roll on Case Merida in Potts Point. Photo: Lauren Gray
For a place you can feel more comfortable in shorts, Merida house (1/5 Kellett Street, Potts Point) accepts bookings from 19 October. Inspired by the mezcal and good times in Yucatan, Mexico, the expected bar (it was to be launched in September) opens in a renovated terrace adorned with gold fittings and the odd chandelier. Note the bottomless margarita lunch meetings every Saturday.
Meanwhile, punters who want the sweet relief of beer from a tap can add Lord Wolseley Hotel (265 Bulwara Road, Ultimo) to their schooner list. Pub Life Kitchen returned to the old watering hole in July, and chef Jovan Curic could not be happier to finally serve his cult burgers in a bistro rather than through a window. New PLK dishes include sarma (smoked pork stuffed cabbage rolls) and pork schnitzel with celery remoulade. Beer-friendly food doesn’t get much better.
For a casual catch-up with peers
Cherry cardigan is back, friends. After burning brightly and beautifully for a few months last year at a warehouse in Marrickville, Baba’s place (20 Sloane Street, Marrickville) returned to sling Lebanese snack packs and sangas during lockdown. The sit-down dining room is set to resume in the coming weeks and we are crossing our fingers that the mango atayef pancake with cardamom cream is also making a comeback.
Staying in Marrickville, Rice Pantry (20 Smidmore Street) launched two weeks before the lockdown as part of the Metro Mall’s new dining room. The modern Asian restaurant and bar reopened yesterday with a new menu featuring Vietnamese fried chicken, tamarind prawns and grilled squid with fermented chili and pineapple. These are all very divisible things for small groups or large families.
Over in Bexley North, My mother’s cousin (9 Shaw Street) pizzeria has been a lockdown hit since serving its first New York-style pepperoni slice in July. Due to COVID restrictions still in place (specifically the four meter rule for indoor dining), the small living room may not reopen until December 1st, but that does not mean you can not take one of its thin , crispy and “proudly pineapple-free” pies for a pizza party with waxxed guests at home. Try the number ‘nduja and salami with fior di latte and fresh ricotta.
Back to the east, Water and flour (117B Macleay Street, Potts Point) welcomes guests from 19 October. The young chef Lucinda Khan has kept the locals full of tagliatelle on the side edge since she launched her small homemade pasta restaurant in August.
For a picnic by the beach
See you later, five kilometers travel limit! Full-grown Sydneysiders, previously unable to visit Rose Bay, can now line up with every other person in the eastern suburbs for Josh Niland’s incredibly crispy skin Murray cod at. Charcoal fish (670 New South Head Road). Also, don’t miss the benchmark fish-and-chips designed to sustain crunch on your trip to Shark Beach.
Beaten Murray cod and chips from Josh Niland’s new Charcoal Fish store in Rose Bay. Photo: Rob Palmer
More abused seafood to mock the sand can be found on Fishshop (87 Glenayr Avenue, North Bondi) where FSH MKT opens next week to handle the popular eatery takeaway orders. We are very interested in the idea of a BYOP (build-your-own picnic) display, where customers can cure their own cold cuts with oysters, shrimp and homemade tarama salads.
In less fishy news, just opened Franks Deli (279 Bronte Road, Waverley) has also created line-ups in the East for Polish-style snacks and sandwiches perfect for eating on a rug in Bronte Park. Just wait a minute before swimming after tackling breakfast Sammy stacked with a cheesy eggfold and LP’s brisket pastrami.