Food News

GT Food News: Your news wrap for all things food

All the new openings, food-fuelled events and tasty things happening around the country.

By Cordelia Williamson
Bathers' Pavillion
Aaron Ward steps into head chef role at Bathers' Pavillion
The north shore's most beautiful dining room is entering a new era with the arrival of Aaron Ward. Coming off the back of his tenure at Shell House and Sixpenny, Ward's stepping into an executive chef position at the Balmoral beachside stalwart. Ward's sea change will see a new culinary vision infused into Pavillion classics, which have kept the waterside restaurant a firm favourite with locals. Ward has said he'll be making the most of seafood throughout summer, and he'll also debut some more tableside concepts, with plans to head out into the dining room to explain the stories behind each of the dishes directly to guests. In a double-hitter of talent, Bathers' has also snapped up Thai chef, Pacharin 'Air' Jantrakool, taking over Betel Leaf, the first-floor terrace-dwelling restaurant within the building.
Three Michelin-starred UK restaurant L'Enclume's Sydney residency starts this month
One of the world's top culinary talents - Simon Rogan - is coming to Australia for a five-week takeover by the sea in Sydney. The British chef is one of the leaders of farm-to-table dining, which has since become a widespread global movement, and his flagship restaurant L'Enclume is the ebodiment of his passion for the connection between nature and food.
Last year, in the restaurant's 20th year, L'Enclume was awarded three Michelin stars, as well as a Michelin Green Star, which recognises restaurants at the forefront of the industry in regards to their sustainable practices.
This month, Rogan is transporting his awarded restaurant from the Northern English village of Cartmel to Sydney's Balmoral Beach with a residency at Bathers' Pavilion.
Rogan will lead the kitchen at the North Shore venue, reimagining L'Enclume's farm-to-table ethos with an Australian lens. "Our cooking philosophy is first and foremost to respect the natural and immediate environment and we have been so inspired by the conversations we have had so far with local producers and farmers who share our sustainability and regenerative farming ethos," says Rogan in a statement.
The eight-course tasting menu will adapt some of L'Enclume's renowned dishes to use local and native ingredients from sustainable farmers and producers in New South Wales, including a rendition of the Berkswell pudding caramelised in birch sap, stout vinegar and aged Berkswell cheese. Snacks and petit fours will be served alongside the set menu, too, which costs $420 per person.
Tailored wine pairings will be available for $190, $290 and $750 a head, curated by L'Enclume's head sommelier Valentin Mouillard alongside Bathers' Pavilion's Tom Sykes. The Taster Flight ($190) commences with a Clare Valley Riesling while the Signature Flight ($290) will include unique wines such as a Rhone Valley Condrieu and a Beechworth Nebbiolo. Those opting for the Select Flight ($750) will be treated to rare and special drops, from a 2014 Mount Mary Quintet from Yarra Valley to a 2013 Szepsy Tokaji dessert wine from Hungary.
The L'Enclume residency at Bathers' Pavilion runs Wednesday 19 July to Sunday 20 August. During the five-week run, it'll be open for lunch Tuesday to Sunday and dinner Tuesday to Saturday, with an 80-person capacity per sitting. A private dining room for 12-15 diners will also be available.
There are still a few tickets left, which you can book via the Bathers' Pavilion website.
Massimo Mele is bringing his popular Hobart restaurant to Sydney this July
One of Hobart's hottest restaurants, Peppina, is popping up in Sydney this month - for one day only. Peppina is Massimo Mele's popular Italian restaurant situated in The Tasman Hotel, and soon Sydneysiders won't have to cross the Bass Strait to sample his impressive modern Italian menu.
On Saturday 22 July, Mele is taking over the kitchen at The Gantry at Pier One where he will serve a set menu of Peppina hits over just two sittings. Guests will enjoy dishes such as oysters with elderflower mignonette, hand-rolled macaroni with Genovese pesto, veal shin and fresh truffle, and Peppina's signature porchetta with nettle cream and pickled radicchio. For dessert, Peppina's tall tower of decadent tiramisù.
For those who can't make it to the special event, a collaborative dish created by Mele and The Gantry's Rhys Connell will be available till 19 August, too.
The Peppina x The Gantry experience costs $120 per person, with portions of the profit donated to Australia's leading food rescue not-for-profit, OzHarvest. This promises to enable the delivery of 20 meals to those in need with every booking.
Book the Peppina x The Gantry experience here. For more information, head to The Gantry website.
Peppina's signature porchetta
Fabbrica's new bakery to serve vindaloo pies and chocolate bomboloni
From a lockdown pivot pop-up to a soon-to-open bakery, Fabbrica Bread Shop is back - and this time it's here to stay. From the brains behind Fabbrica Pasta Shop, Fabbrica Bread Shop is a tested success that will open in Rozzelle permanently this August. It promises sandwiches, pastries, and baked goods that gained cult status in the pop-up's previous short run in 2021 - think pork and fennel sausage rolls, chocolate-filled bomboloni and banoffee tarts.
On the savoury side, there will also be golden Pithiviers, cross-laminated masla croissants stuffed with spiced potato and spicy vindaloo pies, plus loaded focaccia slices and stacked sandwiches for takeway lunches. For sweeter treats, it promises pillowy Roman cream buns, decadent chocolate tarts and neatly coiled morning buns. Naturally for a self-identified bread shop, the Rozelle iteration of Fabbrica will also peddle freshly baked loaves of sourdough.
It's set to open inside an upmarket grocer on Darling Street in Rozelle and will be led by Aniruddha Bhosekar, head baker of the Love Tilly Group - the hospitality collective behind Fabbrica and other popular Sydney spots such as Ragazzi, La Salut and the newly opened Palazzo Salato.
Fabbrica Bread Shop is set to open as part of Maloneys Grocer at 733 Darling Street Rozzelle. It's slated to open in August 2023
Chocolate-filled bomboloni at Fabbrica Bread Shop Photo: Trent van der Jagt
Truffle season has returned with rich umami dishes and chef-led truffle hunts
Every winter, truffle fever hits Australia. It's the time of the year when you'll head to a popular café, restaurant and bar and you'll see tiny black curls topping everything from pasta to roast potatoes.
In Melbourne, Navi will serve a truffle-only menu available throughout July as well as a truffle cocktail flight in the Navi Lounge, while Baby Pizza in Richmond is shaving truffle onto cheesy pizza and pasta dishes. In Sydney, sky-high restaurant Infinity has a six-course truffle degustation for $230 per person, waterfront restaurant Woodcut has brought back its popular truffle toastie with whipped Gruyère among other special truffle dishes, and Devon Cafe has brought back its super-popular truffle menu that includes truffle mie goreng, Japanese-style truffled egg sandos, and a truffle sundae for dessert.
But if you're keen to go beyond adding truffle to a cheese toastie, then truffle hunting should be high on your winter agenda. In the Southern Highlands, the charming, newly opened Moss Manor hotel is launching a series of weekend events with a Truffle Weekend from 21-23 July. The luxe weekend package includes two nights at the boutique art hotel, plus multiple truffle experiences led by renowned chef Stefano Manfredi including truffle hunting and a long lunch at a truffle farm. Future weekend events include cheesemaking, mushroom foraging, and trout fishing.
Shane Delia has a new Melbourne restaurant
Maha North is the next evolution of Shane Delia's restaurant stable. Refocusing and replicating the menu of sister venue Maha East, the northside iteration in Collingwood is now serving king prawn kataifi; crunchy chickpea fried zucchini flowers; and Lebanese garlic dumplings with poached leeks and spiced chicken.
Dining room at Métisse
Potts Point fine diner Métisse has a new luxury tasting menu
Sydneysiders seeking a restaurant for an all-out occasion will be pleased to hear of Métisse's new Luxury Degustation. Led by the charismatic Opel Khan, the Potts Point fine diner exudes opulence - and the new tasting menu is no exception. From the caviar and white truffle custard amuse bouche to the $150 per person 'prestige wine pairing' (there's the option of a $300 wine pairing, too), the brief here is lavish. Of the 10-plus dishes, highlights include the Fruits de Mer of Yamba prawn, octopus carpaccio, confit salmon and Tasmanian scallop, and the incredibly tender Kobe beef score 12 with salt-crusted celeriac tart topped with fermented daikon.
Bookings can be made via the Métisse website.
Sokyo has launched a ballot system for its super-popular omakase experience
Omakase restaurants are notoriously had to book into - in particular Chase Kojima's Sokyo in Sydney. Now one of Australia's most in-demand chef's table seats has introduced a ballot system. Known for booking out withing hours releasing seats, the ballot system will offer diners another chance at scoring a seat.
The 20-course chef's table experience occurs every Monday to Thursday, and only seats six diners per night. The ballot will open on the 1st of each month for the following month, and allows you to instantly put your name in for two seats on dates selected by the restaurant.
Sushi at Sokyo's omakase experience Photo: Samantha Rose
A new Korean-focused restaurant group is opening three new restaurants this autumn
Along with a swag of new venues, Sydney has scored a new hospitality collective focused on Korean dining. Going by the name of Kolture, the group is led by David Bae and already has popular restaurants Kinhboy, Kobo, Kogi Korean BBQ and Honey under its belt. But in the next few months, Kolture is expanding with the opening of three new venues.
First, the group has relauched Tokki in Surry Hills as a modern Korean Anju bar where you'll find bar snacks and booze in a fun, cosy space on Foveaux Street. The bar stocks small-batch soju, makegeolli and cheongju as well as Korean craft beer (maekju). Of course, there are cocktails - including concoctions using Jeju Island mandarin and Korean pear. Food-wise, there are seafood pancakes with octopus, squid and shallot; loligo squid sondaw (stuffed squid); fermented black bean pork ribs; and mulhwe - Korea's answer to sashimi - which will be a spicy (and icy) raw kingfish dish.
Moving on to Soot, which has just opened in Barangaroo. It promises to be Barangaroo's first Korean barbecue joint that takes "the usual Korean BBQ experience up a notch". There are DIY grills built in to every table and the menu sees premium and aged wagyu cuts as well as Australian beef, plus seafood, galbi (soy-marinated short-ribs) and plenty of banchan.
Lastly, Leemix - a Korean chef's table experience - will open in Circular Quay by June. It'll be the group's second omakase-style venue (Kobo being the other) and have executive chef Jacob Lee at the helm. Leemix will be Lee's "remix" on traditional Korean food, guiding diners through Korea's culinary history and culture.
Leemix is slated to open in May 2023.
Taronga Zoo's harbourside Me-Gal restaurant has opened to the public
For the first time ever, the restaurant inside Taronga Zoo's onsite Wildlife Retreat is opening to the public on Thursday 30 March. The elegant dining room is surrounded by native bushland and, thanks to its floor-to-ceiling windows, offers multimillion-dollar views of Sydney Harbour.
Named Me-Gal, which is the Cammeraigal word for 'tears' and symbolises the saltwater of the harbour shoreline, the restaurant is operated by Trippas White - the group responsible for venues in many Sydney icons, including Bar 83 in Sydney Tower, Botanic House in The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, and Reign in the Queen Victoria Building.
The kitchen is led by executive chef Stefan Schröder who has created a menu that champions native ingredients and sustainable produce from local farmers. Dishes include stuffed zucchini flowers with wattleseed ricotta and macadamia crumble; char-grilled tiger prawns with lime labne, coriander and pickled onions; 12-hour slow-cooked lamb shoulder; and lemon myrtle and pear tart served with Chantilly cream.
As for wine, sommelier Louella Mathews has pulled together a smart list of predominently Australian producers, including organic and biodynamic drops alongside bottles from classic wineries such as Penfolds and Leeuwin Estate. There's also a concise cocktail list that also heroes native Australian ingredients.
Bookings are now open to the public and can be made via the website.
Taronga Zoo Sydney Wildlife Retreat
Rutherglen's All Saints Estate has a new restaurant
Rutherglen's heritage-listed winery and vineyard All Saints Estate completed a multi-million-dollar redevelopment with the opening of Kin in late February. The restaurant is located in the Estate's 1864 heritage-listed castle and executive chef Jack Cassidy (Jackalope, Bistro Guillaume, Bedarra Island Resort) leads the team with a modern Australian menu that reimagines family recipes passed on by fourth-generation siblings Eliza, Angela and Nicholas Brown, who own and run the business in north-east Victoria. It's open Thursday to Sunday for lunch and Saturday for dinner.
  • undefined: Cordelia Williamson