Barrel Bar & Dining
Twenty-six year old Zac Stanning (ex-Public Dining Room) has been a head chef for six months. Teaming that with a triumvirate of owners - Stephen Thompson, Tony Binning and Alex Searle – “all sommeliers by profession”, and you have what could be a recipe for disaster.
“It's big, it's heavy, it's wood. It's log…" Ren & Stimpy aren’t the only ones obsessed with logs. Firedoor’s log is the first gnarly object to catch your eye, right after the fancy sliding door spits you unceremoniously into the Surry Hills warehouse, your arm awkwardly half-raised.
The end of one-way communication between you and your barista is nigh! After ruling out their native Hong Kong for high rents and fledgling coffee culture, this triumvirate of owners - Roy Yu, Kit Tran and Bruce Koo – selected Sydney for their first customer-focused coffee concept.
O Bar & Dining
Emerging from the lift into this darkened space your eyes are instantly captivated by the panoramic city view. Head Chef Darren Templeman has brought over much of what I loved from Restaurant Atelier, though his new iconic Harry Seidler-designed location means he’s obliged to paint with a broader brush.
Pitt St Diner
Every neighbourhood should have a little Parisian bistro. Better still, one with young French chefs from the south-west of France in the kitchen who play to their seaside strengths and offer up a clattering mound of Moules Marinières ($25) in a white wine and cream sauce, slightly smoky from a good flambé.