Sydney’s most anticipated restaurant openings in 2017
Author: Pat Nourse, Sophie McComas and Maggie Scardifield
Bacco - now open
After a few construction delays, the arrival of a new Angel Place restaurant-bar-café from Andrew Cibej, the first CBD project for the restaurateur behind Vini, 121BC, Berta and Ester, is set to open in mid-Febuary. "It's a killer site," Cibej told GT late last year. "Quite the dining oasis." Former MoVida Sydney head chef Scott Williams is taking charge, drafting a menu of sharp produce-led Italian classics with a focus on shareable bar snacks and fresh pasta. With Ned Brooks, co-owner of now-closed Moon Park handling the drinks, it's shaping up to be a win-win deal for inner-city Italophiles. Bacco, Ash St, Sydney, NSW
Sotto Sopra - now open
Ormeggio chef Alessandro Pavoni is bringing an upmarket trattoria to a new building on Barrenjoey Road in Newport this summer in the form of Sotto Sopra. The menu will be broken down into cold starters, fresh pasta and things that'll issue from the wood-fired grill. Think porchetta cooked Roman-style overnight, bistecca Fiorentina, wood-roasted eggplant with tomato, smoked pecorino and fresh oregano, broccoli with bagna cauda, and lots of raw seafood. Sotto Sopra, Barrenjoey Rd, Newport, NSW
The as-yet-unnamed Surry Hills project from chef Mat Lindsay and his backers from Ester will be a more bar-focused offering on Commonwealth Street set in a new boutique hotel attached to the Paramount building. Good news for hungry visitors: Lindsay and co will also be taking care of the room-service menu. It's set to open spring 2017. Bar Ester, Commonwealth St, Surry Hills, NSW
Chin Chin Sydney - close to
The Sydney expansion of Chris Lucas's Melbourne South East Asian hotspot, Chin Chin, has been a long, long time coming, but Lucas assures us it's "looking like" August 2017. Expect a similar menu to the original, and similar queues. Chin Chin, Commonwealth St, Surry Hills, NSW
Jacoby's - now open
The team behind Earl's Juke Joint in Newtown will open a second bar, Jacoby's, in Sydney's inner west this summer. Taking its cues from (what else?) the dark underbelly of tiki culture and David Lynch's Twin Peaks TV series, it'll offer rum classics and remixes of lesser-known tiki drinks from the '50s. Jacoby's, 154 Enmore Rd, Enmore, NSW
George Calombaris is set to make his first move on Sydney next year with the opening of Elektra. Fans of Gazi, Calombaris's upmarket souvlaki bar on Exhibition Street in Melbourne, should be particularly excited, with Elektra taking a similar approach to modern Greek fare. Look out for the opening in Surry Hills in mid-2017.
Lankan Filling Station - last seen at Carriagworks
After popping up at restaurants all over Sydney this year, one of the city's most talented and intuitive chefs, O Tama Carey, is still searching for a suitable site for her Sri Lankan street food offering, Lankan Filling Station. When it lands, it'll serve hoppers (the Sri Lankan staple of bowl-shaped pancakes of fermented rice flour and coconut) topped with curries - potato, prawn, fish, mutton and chicken among them - and sambols, and perhaps a fried egg. Watch this space.
Kitchen by Mike at the airport - now
After closing his canteen at Koskela in Rosebery to open the outstanding No 1 Bent St in the CBD, Mike McEnearney is opening an outpost of Kitchen by Mike airside at Sydney international next year. The plan was to open in late 2016, but timing is now TBC.
One of the last pieces of the Barangaroo puzzle to be put into place, the new restaurant from Matt Moran, together with his business partner Bruce Solomon and the Solotel restaurant group will open over three levels on a standalone site on the waterfront. Designed by Sydney design studio Collins and Turner, the 804-square-metre building will resemble three stacked bowls, with greenery-filled balconies stretching across each. The restaurant should be complete by mid-2017.
Untied and 12-Micron - both open
After well-reviewed turns in the luxe end of Melbourne at The Point and Brooks, Justin Wise heads to Sydney to oversee two new Barangaroo venues next year as part of his role with the Dixon Hospitality Group, the Melbourne pub barons who bought six former Keystone properties in November 2016. At Untied, a casual rooftop restaurant with a tropical vibe, Wise's menu will celebrate seafood, with plenty of oysters and a raw bar, plus bar snacks such as popcorn prawns and sardines on toast. The finer-dining 12-Micron, opening in Tower One at the north end of The Streets of Barangaroo, will offer 270-degree views of Sydney harbour, with private dining, a function space, and a casual bar. The menu will be split, for some reason, into Earth (vegetables and cheeses), Ocean (seafood), Land (steak and meats from the grill) and Air (duck, pigeon and rôtisserie chicken).
Blanca - now open
Could Finnish be the big thing for 2017? Not, perhaps, at Blanca. Despite the fact it's the first Australian venture for Finnish celebrity chef Tomi Björck, the restaurant, which opens at The Hub on Hall Street this summer, won't specifically be tied to a particular cuisine, let alone Nordic flavours. In his native Helsinki, Björck, a graduate of Quay and Longrain, has a clutch of eateries to his name, including the modern Asian-leaning Farang and Gaijin. Blanca, 75 Hall St, Bondi Beach, Sydney, NSW, blanca.com.au