All the new and soon-to-open restaurants and bars to add to your hit list.
Feb 06, 2023 10:00pm
Best new openings in Sydney
Beau, a new laneway wine bar and deli spin-off by the Nomad crew, has finally opened after months of anticipation. Located a mere 200 metres from Nomad in Surry Hills, Beau’s front section and daytime aspect, Beau & Dough, opens today. The open kitchen is led by former Stanbuli chef Ibrahim Kasif, who’s created a Middle Eastern-inspired menu with a focus on lunch-ready manoush topped with labne, spiced lamb shoulder or Sujuk (Turkish sausage).
As for the wine bar, you’ll have to wait a couple more weeks. Dubbed Beau Bar, it’ll be tucked away in the back section of the venue, with entry via Foster Street. Beau Bar’s drinks list will champion Australian wines, spirits and beers. There’ll be a 300-strong wine list by the bottle, plus a by-the-glass list of mostly minimal intervention and natural wines.
“We’re going to have a really beautiful seafood display on ice and seafood is going to be a real feature. It’s going to be quite luxurious, very adult, very moody but also fun and delicious… and people can come and they can have pre-drinks before they go to Nomad, or they can just come and have a drink and snacks,” says Kasif.
Seating 100 diners across both spaces, Beau Bar and Beau & Dough are like night and day – while the deli is bright and casual, the bar is dark, moody and handsome. Plus, there’s a rooftop with sweeping city views and a private bar – but it’s only available for private functions.
Beau & Dough is now open. Beau Bar is slated to open on Friday 24 February.
Clam Bar Restaurant and Grill
There will be choose-your-own condiments (think house-made butters and sauces (wasabi, mustards and twists on classics); oysters, crustaceans and shellfish on ice; and a large raw bar selection. There will also be steak tartare; sizzling garlic prawns; crab cakes; baked scampi casino style; clam coconut ceviche; and a spanner crab gratin. These bold entrees will be matched by mains including a cheeseburger; New York strip and porterhouse steaks; and a whole fish grilled in the charcoal oven.
Clam Bar is slated to open early 2023.
Chef Jessi Singh has opened Pinky Ji in Sydney’s CBD. Nodding to Singh’s Punjabi roots, the menu – which is divided into snacks, raw, street, grill, wok, tandoor and curry sections – is overseen by both Singh and former Chin Chin head chef, Johann Jay.
Order a whole flounder with curry butter noisette, or half a lobster with Sri Lankan coconut curry leaf sambal from the grill; or try lamb chops with smoked horseradish yoghurt or prawns with green chilli coriander butter from the tandoor, joined by garlic naan biryani and roti.
Josh and Julie Niland’s fifth venture, Petermen, is set to open on Thursday 23 February. The ethos behind the new North Shore restaurant is to champion local growers and producers, with a menu that highlights the best of Australian seafood and vegetables – think smoked Tathra oysters, Manjimup marron with curry butter and line-caught John Dory from Eden.
Sydney’s new age Spanish wave continues with the arrival of Bar Lucia in Potts Point. Opening in early February, Bar Lucia is a handsome wine and tapas bar, serving plates such as roast scallops with saffron butter, ox tongue pintxos and Jamon Iberico Bellota Puro. As for the wine, sommelier Kasia Sobiesiak has pulled together a list that champions Australian and female winemakers.
Best new openings in Melbourne
In Collingwood, Orlo – a modern Greek restaurant by former Press Club and Hellenic Republic chef Alex Xinis – will open in a heritage-listed former cordial factory.
Dishes from the open kitchen will include stuffed sardines, raisins, tomato and herbs to start leek pie with sheep curd and smoked egg yolk for mains; and a restaurant-ready take on an Iced Vovo dubbed the Riced Vivi with rice cream, burnt marshmallow and raspberry.
Orlo is slated to open sometime in 2023
Best new openings in Brisbane
A sprawling three-level, 120-seat restaurant continues the rejuvenation of Eagle Street, with the opening of Babylon Brisbane. Like its Sydney predecessor, Babylon draws on the traditions of Levantine cuisine and its southeast Mediterranean influences. The kitchen is centred on a custom three-metre-long mangal (Turkish grill) and two rotisseries. Here you’ll find wood-fired pumpkin kebab with coriander, lime, Aleppo chilli and muhammara; wood-grilled Fraser Coast squid with yoghurt, dill and lime; and wood-fired Angus beef with chilli butter and radish.
Dramatic interiors include terracotta bricks, red marble tabletops, a green marble bar and mahogany chairs, while two outdoor bars will make the most of the Brisbane sunshine.
Wynnum has welcomed a new 55-seater wine bar. Adelita has called upon executive chef Esca Khoo to create the menu, carried out by head chef Noah Soowon. Expect sardine esabeche and fennel on rye toast; or duck liver Pâté with Pedro Ximénez and chicken skin; alongside glasses of Australian minimal intervention wines, poured from taps to save on glass bottles and hone in on the bar’s sustainable focus.
Best new openings in Canberra
From the team behind popular restaurant Pilot, Such and Such opened in Constitution Place late last year. The casual eatery boasts indoor and alfresco dining spaces and delivers an a la carte menu with dishes that are designed to be shared – think oysters, pastas and whole fish dishes.
The venue has a stong wine focus, too, led by beverage director James Dickson-Hoyle (Pilot, Osteria Illaria, Saint Crispin) who’s created a fun list of small-batch Australian wines alongside international bottles and a few local “cult favourites”. Cocktails lean towards the classics, plus there are ample non-alcoholic beverages to choose from.
Best new openings in regional Australia
Pixie Food & Wine
Byron Bay, NSW
At Pixie Food & Wine, ex-Grossi Florentino chef Matteo Tine is on the pans doing modern Italian snacks, Think sweet fermented pumpkin atop a delicate blue swimmer crab tartlet; or albacore tuna smoked and cured in a Katz’s Deli-inspired pastrami rub. Pasta is also a focus, with spaghetti alla chitarra with vongole, and lobster tortellini.
Drinks-wise, they’ve called upon more Melbourne talent, with Joe JHones of Romeo Lane on board to port mandarin Mimosas, ice-cold Martinis and strawberry amaro to finish.
Sydney hospitality juggernaut Merivale will open its first venture in Victoria this month, with the arrival of Totti’s at the Lorne Hotel. The Great Ocean Road outpost will draw upon the Sydney formula of puffed bread and snacks to match, with founding chef Mike Eggert joined by local chef Matt Germanchis (ex-Captain Moonlight).
The usual Totti’s hits will be complemented with plenty of local seafood including King George whiting, Southern rock lobsters, calamari and mussels; alongside housemade pasta and wood-fired specialties.
Byron Bay, NSW
Dive head first into the world of biodynamics at Byron Bay’s hibachi grill and wine bar, Moonlight. Here, sommelier Sean Duncan has created a niche wine list to champion biodynamic wine. Expect drops by the likes of Hunter Valley’s Krinklewood, South Australia’s Yangarra, and Western Australia’s Cullen Wines.