If you work down the southern end of the CBD—get the hell excited. An epic all-day diner just opened ‘round the corner.
Its name is Archie Green, and it’s the brainchild of hospo pro Paul Hourigan (ex Boatbuilders Yard, Riverland and Pilgrim Bar). The concept is pretty simple: a contemporary, A-grade eatery...without the wank. Which is why Paul has assembled an All-Star team to run the show. In the kitchen you’ve got chef Gomez Braham (who cut his teeth in Hong Kong and London, working under Michelin-starred chef Tom Aikens). And heading up the bar crew is Stuart Quinn, all around legend and sommelier extraordinaire. Between the two of them, they’ve created something pretty special.
Let’s start with the food. It’s rare we get so excited about bread and dip, but Archie Green is doing the Taj Mahal of bread and dip. A combo so dangerous that you’ll probably eat two platefuls and ruin your appetite. It’s a whipped Ōra King salmon mousse, served with a saltbush fougasse (a puffy, French-style bread). Honestly, we could have bathed in a big pool of this stuff. So, so, good.
And the menu just keeps hitting winner after winner. Blue swimmer crab scrambled eggs with chilli crack and wild rice? Boom. The Archie’s Toastie with three cheeses, pickles and house smoked pig cheek bacon? Double boom. Personally we’re coming back for more of the Pork neck and duck pate en croute, served with charred fennel and hazelnuts. Sounds posh, but daaaaamn is it tasty.
Quinn has put together a smart little wine list too. Nothing that’ll have you scrabbling for a thesaurus, but some interesting drops nonetheless (“I told him you can experiment a little,” Hourigan says with a grin, “You know how somm’s get.” Our pick? A glass of the 2014 Seresin “Marama” Sav Blanc. Goes down a treat.
The bar comes stocked with enough gin, whisky and craft beer to sink a Dan Murphy’s. And Archie’s bartender (who has the most impressive moustache we’ve ever seen, just FYI) knows his way around a cocktail. We recommend the Avalon Airport: a twist on the classic Aviation, using Melbourne Gin Company gin.
One last tip: save room for dessert. Archie Green does (hands down) the greatest ice-cream sandwich going around. Imagine a frozen puck of homemade, passionfruit ice-cream, sandwiched between two (slightly warm) choc-chip cookies, baked by Gomez in-house. Then it gets even more extra. The dish comes served with a sweet and sticky caramel dipping sauce (with just a hint of salt on the tongue). The whole combo makes your brain fizz. Highly recommend.
Archie Green is pitched a step about your standard cafe, and two steps below the highfalutin haute cuisine that intimidates so many diners. It’s accessible, friendly, and incredibly delicious. If you’ve got Sydney friends in town and you want to make them jealous of your life, take them here.
Image credit: Annika Kafcaloudis