Food & Drink

The Feed | The Sydney Food News You Need To Know About

By Sammy Preston and Georgia Condon

Maybe Sammy New Menu

To make sure that you're on top of all the tasty things happening around Sydney, we've wrapped up all of this week's top food news right here. 

Maybe Sammy's New Menu Is A Whimsical Treat Of Travel, Hotel Bars, And Wes Anderson

Image credit: Maybe Sammy | Steven Woodburn

Sydney's most awarded cocktail bar Maybe Sammy has just dropped a brand-new cocktail menu—this time inspired by travel, hotel bars, and Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel. As always, there's a lot of research, development, whimsy, and magic shaken into a Maybe Sammy drink, and the 15 new signatures on "The Grand Maybe Sammy" hotel are no exception.

This time, the menu folds out like a Monopoly board. Roll a dice and select which direction you'd like to follow. To the right, the "Check In" is a pink concoction of Hendricks, Cocchi Americano, fig, hibiscus, and Fever Tree soda water. To the left, the "High Tea" features Benirach 10 Years, fino sherry, mastic tears, matcha, and coconut soda. 

Move around the board to try the "Airport Chauffer", a tequila spritz inspired by the luxury experience of being offered champagne in the limo on your way to your hotel. The tropical "Poolside" has a turquoise hue and is served with an edible candy inflatable pool ring. Order it after 8pm, and the cocktail will light up, just like the pool at night. 

Other standouts include "Breakfast In Bed", "Solo Traveller", and "Do Not Disturb". Maybe Sammy's new menu is available now. 

Shell House Dining Room Has A New Head Chef—And A Divine New Autumn Menu

Image credit: Shell House | Jonny Valient

New moves are afoot this week at Shell House with the reveal of a new head chef and an updated autumn menu. Chef Brad Guest is now leading the kitchen at Shell House Dining Room & Bar, bringing experience from a shopping list of Australia's most impressive restaurants: Cafe Paci, Oncore by Clare Smyth, Sixpenny, Rockpool, and Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay, to name a few. 

With a new chef comes a new menu, and Guest's interpretation of Shell House's signature style of indulgence includes a sourdough orecchiette with mushroom and almond, linguine with urchin, caviar, and lemon, and scampi served with pumpkin, brioche and pepita salt. 

At Sixpenny, Guest was the pivotal force that helped the Stanmore restaurant score three hats. Naturally, the all-star Shell House team, including group culinary director Joel Bickford and sommelier Alex Kirkwood, are excited to see what magic Guest can bring to Shell House. Peep the new menu here. 

a'Mare Reveals A Theatrical New Chef's Menu Where Each Dish Gets A Tableside Treatment

Image credit: a'Mare | Supplied 

Tableside service is a part of the experience at a'Mare. Whether it's the luxurious martini cart stirring your chosen poison, the pesto pummeled to perfection before your eyes, or the fior di latte gelato scooped and drizzled in your choice of white chocolate sauce, raspberry meringue, or cherries, it's all happening tableside, and we love it. 

This month, the team has doubled down on the theatrics with a new chef's menu dedicated to tableside service dubbed "The Italian Job". Across seven courses, each dish will be created or finished tableside for maximum flair.

Begin with double-cooked bruschetta, before moving on to arrabbiata pasta with optional lobster, the much-loved trofie al pesto, and a luxe wagyu beef cheek. You'll wrap up with the a'Mare gelato cart—an experience that'll have you feeling like Kevin McCallister at The Plaza Hotel.

The Italian Job menu is available daily for lunch and dinner. It will set you back $180pp with optional wine pairing for $115pp. More info is here

One Of Australia's Six Master Sommeliers Has Opened A New Wine Shop In Hunters Hill

Image credit: Hunters Hill Wine Room | Supplied

Master Sommelier Adrian Filuta, who happens to be one of only six Master Somms in the country, has opened a wine shop in Hunters Hill this week. Called Hunter's Hill Wine Room, you'll find a curated collection of over 1,000 drinks to try, with a focus on Aussie wines from up-and-coming and ethical vineyards and growers. 

Filuta was formerly the Group Sommelier for Merivale—overseeing wine lists at the likes of Mr Wong, Totti's, and Fred's. At Hunter's Hill Wine Room, expect to see wines at friendly prices as well as rare and collectable bottles, alongside weekly tastings and meet-the-winemaker events. More info is here

The Bar Copains Team Will Open Two New Surry Hills Spots Down The Road

Just over a year after opening their hugely popular neighbourhood wine bar and bistro Bar Copains, familiar faces Morgan McGlone and Nathan Sasi have revealed plans to add a restaurant and bar to the Albion Street lineup.

The duo will open broadly Mediterranean restaurant Bessie’s and neighbouring cocktail bar Alma’s in homage to their grandmothers, in the former site of hospitality supply store Chefs Warehouse (yes, the one with the big whisk) just two blocks away. Details are scarce, but we can bank on the guys’ signature low-key but top-quality style across the two new spots.

Both venues are set to open in late 2024—you can follow Bessie’s and Alma's on Insta for updates.

Zero-Waste Bar Re Will Reopen At Redfern's Norfolk Hotel Next Month

matt whiley re bar redfern the norfolk
Image credit: PUBLIC Hospitality | Supplied

After wrapping things up at its original Eveleigh location, Matt Whiley’s globally recognised zero-waste bar Re has found a new home at The Norfolk in Redfern.

The second iteration (in the former corner site of La Salut) will open in April and follow the formula of the original venue which held the number 46 position on The World’s 50 Best Bars list, using redirected fruit and vegetable trimmings and discards from 15 of The Norfolk’s sister venues including Maybe Sammy, Lady Hampshire, Dean & Nancy on 22 and El Primo Sanchez.

A food menu developed in collaboration with PUBLIC hospitality’s culinary director Clayton Wells is also underway to complement the drinks offering and align with the zero-waste philosophy. As part of Re’s new location, Whiley will also oversee waste management with the PUBLIC Hospitality group in an effort to minimise waste and make the whole portfolio more environmentally conscious. Read more about Re here.

Neptune's Grotto: A New Subterranean Pasta Bar From The Clam Bar Team

The trio behind Clam Bar, Pellegrino 2000, and Bistrot 916 has something new in the works for Sydney. Neptune's Grotto will be Andy Tyson, Dan Pepperell, and Mikey Clift's fourth Sydney venue, tucked beneath Clam Bar's Art Deco dining room on Bridge and Young Streets, with a secreted entrance on Loftus Lane. 

Fresh from having Taylor Swift dine at Pellegrino last month, the superstar group is set to lean into Northern Italian with Neptune's Grotto being all about handmade pastas, slow-cooked sauces, and regional specialities like tortellini alla panna. All of this, of course, is done with the same smooth originality and imagination the team is known for. 

Neptune's Grotto will open in May 2024. Stay tuned for more. 

The Famous Gidley Burger Is Now On The Menu At Surry Hills Sister Venue The Rover

the gidley burger and a martini at surry hills restaurant the rover
Image credit: The Rover | Supplied

Beloved neighbourhood bistro The Rover has shaken up its offering, opening on Mondays again and serving the same menu across both levels—which now includes the luxe burger from Liquid and Larder group sister restaurant The Gidley with double beef patties, cheddar and house pickle for $26.

“We are selling over 500 burgers at The Gidley every week. The burger has a serious cult following and we want our Surry Hills customers to have a piece of the action,” said Liquid and Larder owner James Bradey.

The new menu, available until 10pm, utilises the group's central butchery and dry-ageing facility (at fast-paced steakhouse Alfie’s in the CBD) while keeping favourites from the previous seafood-focused menu like the eel pate crumpets and Fisherman’s Pie.

A happy hour between 4pm and 6pm daily has also been launched and offers $2 oysters, $6 beers, $6 G&Ts, $10 white wine, and $14 seasonal spritzes.

The White Horse Is Reopening Soon—Here's What We Know So Far

Image credit: The White Horse | Steven Woodburn 

Crown Street favourite The White Horse is due to reopen in April, backed by an all-star team of hospitality talent and sporting a flash refurb too. The new White Horse will be more of a dining hotspot when it reopens—joining Sydney's growing crowd of neighbourhood bars with excellent menus, like The Waratah and Caravin.  

General manager Craig Hemmings (ex-Quay, Chin Chin, Bilsons, Bennelong) is leading the charge, with WA chef Jed Gerrard (ex-Wills Domain, Wildflower, Ritz-CarltonPerth), and James Audas on wines (ex-LO-Fi Wines, Bar Heather, Noma, Tetsuya), Michael Chiem on cocktails (ex-PS40, BulletinPlace, Sokyo), and Maureen Er (ex-Tetsuya’s, Hubert, Cho Cho San) front of house. 

As for what the team has set in place, the ground floor will be a restaurant with a "mod-Oz" menu with friendly prices. A signature duck is on the cards, alongside polished plates like calamari with broccoli and lemongrass, and Abrolhos Island scallops with Tasmanian wasabi.

Upstairs, beneath the iconic leaping white horse, it'll be a public bar doing snacks and pub classics, surrounded by a leafy beer garden. "Ultimately, our aim is to offer guests clever and interesting food and drink without costing a bomb, especially for those Surry Hills locals who like to drink and dine a couple of times a week,” Hemmings said. 

The White Horse is due to reopen in April 2024. Stay tuned for an official opening date.

Secolo Has Taken Over The Former Fabbrica Balmain Site At The Exchange Hotel

Following the sudden fall-out between Public Hospitality and the Love Tilly Group at the end of 2023, as of this month, another Italian has moved into The Exchange Hotel in Balmain. Picking up where Fabbrica left off is Secolo, who's locked to stay until May this year. 

After making the difficult decision to close Secolo on Castlereagh Street following the chaos of the Covid era, owner-operators Anthony, Tanja, and Robert Arienzale were happy to fill the pasta void in Balmain. 

“We saw how popular the site was with locals and how much of a void the previous departure left in the community, so when we were given the opportunity to bring our authentic Italian dining experience to the area, we jumped at it,” Tanja said in a statement.

Secolo is all about classic Italian—think vast antipasti options, including a decadent oven-roasted bone marrow served with house focaccia. There's also housemade pasta, like a signature blue swimmer crab spaghetti, a towering fettuccine carbonara, and rigatoni alla norma made with fried eggplant and house-baked ricotta. But before you begin, make sure you order the Venetian spritz, Aperol's more refined cousin. 

Secolo Balmain is now open

A Growing Hospitality Group Will Open 4 New CBD Venues In 2024

House Made Hospitality CBD bars restaurants
Image credit: House Made Hospitality | Supplied

House Made Hospitality (behind Hinchcliff House’s Apollonia, Grana and Lana, Promenade in Bondi Beach, Surry Hills’ The Carrington and CBD restaurant and terrace bar Martinez, plus others) will open four distinct venues in the unmistakable Sofitel Sydney Wentworth this year.

The lineup includes a seafood-centred grill restaurant, a bar combining Aussie native ingredients with an aged spirit collection, a French-Vietnamese restaurant with ‘20s interior influences, and a 250-person rooftop terrace bar.

“We know this section of the CBD exceptionally well and have a clear vision of what venue concepts are missing and what could be developed to complement the existing hospitality footprint,” says House Made Hospitality director Justin Newton.

“Our focus is on creating drinking and dining destinations that offer something innovative and fresh for guests, and these four venues do just that.”

The upcoming CBD spots join a restaurant, all-day cafe/wine bar and cocktail bar by House Made Hospitality coming to Surry Hills’ Wunderlich Lane precinct later in 2024, taking the group’s total to 17 Sydney venues.

The Apollo Group Will Open A New Venue In Potts Point This Year

It's been a minute since The Apollo Group—the team behind much-loved Potts Point restaurants The Apollo and Cho Cho San—has opened anything new in Sydney. However, we can today reveal that they have secured a new spot in the same suburb, with plans to open later this year. 

Taking over the site of the former Bourke Street Bakery on Crick Avenue in Potts Point, the fresh venue is directly opposite The Appollo. Details are scarce for now, with the group sharing in a statement only that the new venue would be a "gathering place for people at any time of the day [that] hopes to complement the growing local food offering in the Potts Point community." Stay tuned for more. 

Merivale Will Open A Japanese-Inspired Spin On Totti's In Autumn 2024

merivale good luck restaurant lounge sydney cbd japanese
Image credit: Merivale | Supplied

Merivale will welcome a Japanese-influenced addition to the family in early 2024 when Good Luck Restaurant Lounge opens in a basement spot on Bridge Street.

Tucked under the historic Burns Philp & Co building, Good Luck Restaurant Lounge will see Merivale executive chef Mike Eggert follow the insanely popular structure of Totti’s with a Japanese influence: “Think Totti’s but then add soy, dashi, vinegar with fresh herbs, citrus and chilli,” he says.

Described as “great food with a side of party” Good Luck Restaurant Lounge will span a main dining room, bar and private dining rooms, with live seafood tanks and two wine rooms, and a rebellious and avant-garde 70s-inspired Tokyo aesthetic. Good Luck Restaurant Lounge will open in early 2024—learn more here.

Restaurant Hubert Has A New Executive Chef, And He’s Bringing Back Asian Influences

Restaurant HUbert sydney new executive chef brendan fong
Image credit: Restaurant Hubert | Instagram

Parisian eatery and jazz den Restaurant Hubert has announced Brendan Fong as its new executive chef. The Fijian-Chinese chef brings experience from Mr Wong and Lilymu, and is harking back to Hubert's earlier days, sprinkling in Asian influences in new dishes like scallop and prawn toast with fine herbs,  and an apple and miso tarte Tatin with calvados ice cream.

Brendan's push towards "fresher, less heavy" dishes sees new plates like whole Australian rock lobster with green garlic butter and chives, kingfish with brown butter, bonito soy and white cloud mushroom, and a Barnsley chop with Provençal vegetables and anchovy join the menu.

A stuffed pig’s trotter dish with ginger and shiitake served with a silky potato puree is an ode to British-born Sydney chef Jeremy Strode, who died in 2017: “He taught me how to make this dish as he'd learned it from the great Pierre Koffman. Jeremy evolved the recipe and I have put it on the menu exactly as he taught me.”

Luxe Japanese Restaurant Nobu Has Launched An All-You-Can-Eat Sushi Menu

Image credit: Nobu | Supplied 

When it comes to Japanese fine dining, Nobu is one of the most famous names you can drop—the world-renowned brand of luxe Japanese is a coveted dining experience. But a visit to the Sydney outpost to fill up on the fine and fancy food of legendary chef Nobu Matsuhisa will typically set you back a pretty penny or three. That is, until now. 

Nobu Sydney has just launched a new Gochiso lunch menu—an all-you-can-eat sushi buffet like you've never seen before. A 10-metre-long sushi counter piled high with Nobu's top-tier sushi, sashimi, tacos, and ceviche—and you can have as much as you can handle.

It'll set you back $99 per person, with the option to add on iconic Nobu dishes like the black cod miso or spicy tempura prawns. The special bottomless menu is available Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays only, from 12pm-2.30pm, making it perfect for an end-of-week feast or end-of-year celebration. More info is here

Golden Century's Successor Has Arrived: Meet Royal Palace Seafood Restaurant 

Chinatown has had a Golden Century-shaped hole in its heart since the iconic Cantonese restaurant closed its doors for good back in 2021. While the legacy lives on at XOPP and The Century at The Star, the original home of Golden Century has remained empty ever since.

Rumours were flying when property developer Anson Group purchased the Sussex Street site earlier this year. And now, we have a confirmed successor: Royal Palace Seafood Restaurant opened its doors quietly last month. And while the venue is not affiliated with Golden Century, the enormous three-storey, 600-seat restaurant is carrying the Golden Century flame in more ways than one. There are live seafood tanks teeming with lobsters and mud crabs, huge banquet tables, and even the return of the much-loved late-night dining, serving supper until 3am Thursday through Saturday. 

Pipis in XO sauce feature on the menu, alongside Singapore chilli crab, crispy Peking duck pancakes, and whole suckling pig for larger parties. Yum cha is also on the comeback—from har gau to egg tarts and mango pancakes—with trolleys and trays taking over the second floor every day. Read more about Royal Palace Seafood Restaurant here

Farmer’s Daughters Chef Alejandro Saravia Is Opening A Latin-American Restaurant In Sydney Soon

Sydney is set to get a taste of Melbourne chef talent when Alejandro Saravia hits town in November. The Farmer's Daughters and Victoria by Farmer's Daughters executive chef and owner is locked to open a new Latin-American restaurant in the heart of the city before the year closes out. Located in the historic GPO building at Martin Place, Saravia will be dipping into his native Peru for inspiration, as well as Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela, Argentina, and Brazil. 

Called Morena, the new 220-seat restaurant will follow Saravia's farmer-to-chef philosophy. He'll be working directly with Australia's best suppliers, layering over authentic ingredients from across Latin America to stay true to the flavours of those cuisines. 

Saravia is credited with bringing Peruvian cuisine to Australia. "I am so excited to open Morena in the heart of Sydney," he says. "With this new venue, we will be elevating the way Sydneysiders engage with the diverse cuisines from across Latin-American cultures.”  

Morena will open in Sydney in November. 

Lune Croissanterie Will Open A Second Sydney Store In 2024

Hyped Melbourne bakery Lune Croissanterie has today revealed plans for a second Sydney outpost. The news comes before Lune's first Sydney location has had the chance to open its doors—the first planned flagship venue, which will be part of the Oxford & Foley dining precinct, is slated to open sometime this year. 

Lune's second spot will be in the heart of the CBD, again as part of a new dining precinct. Lune 2.0 will be part of the Sydney Metro Martin Place integrated station precinct, joining other retail and dining spaces. “This prime location, with its activated street frontages and high foot traffic, is the perfect setting for Lune Croissanterie’s venue," said Colliers' Michael Tuck, who secured the space. 

Lune Croissanterie Sydney CBD will open in 2024. 

Now, head over here for even more tasty food news. 

Main image credit: Shell House | Jonny Valient

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