2016 was one of the best 12 month periods for new restaurant and bar openings in Sydney (lockout laws withstanding; on that note, good riddance Mike Baird), but just because the year is over doesn’t mean the momentum is slowing. Case in point: just a few weeks into 2017 and we’re already getting a shiny new restaurant for Chippendale’s dynamic Kensington Street precinct with awarded Sicilian-born chef Lino Sauro (Gattopardo in Singapore) who is taking root in Sydney with the opening of his Olio Kensington Street. Come 28th January, the internationally renowned chef will bear his soulful Italian cooking to Sydneysiders as the contemporary indoor dining room fits into the revitalised Old Rum Store.
Also boasting a rooftop terrazza, Olio (which is Italian for Oil) will highlight Sauro’s heritage and background as part of a long lineage of self-sufficient Sicilian farmers who are dedicated to home cooked meals using quality produce. Both the restaurant and terrazza menus will reflect this approach, paying homage to the region with ingredients like seasonal seafood, wild fennel, raisins, saffron and couscous used in various dishes. Sauro will even be making use of olive oil sourced from the family’s Sicilian farm.
“This is the style of food my family and I eat in Sicily”, explained Sauro. “At home we’re surrounded by the ocean and olive trees so obviously olive oil and seafood are very important”.
So what type of food can you expect? The menu is split into starters, pasta, meat & fish, and docli with dishes ranging from Burrata Funghi e Proscuitto di Parma (Apulia burrata with warm mushrooms and parma ham) and Risone (risone pasta with red wine, braised octopus and bone marrow) to Cernia (Pacific hapuku fillet with broccoli, evo puree and heirloom beetroot) and Sicilian Summer (hibiscus and watermelon jelly with wild strawberry sorbet and raspberry mousse).
The Mediterranean inspired restaurant, which was designed by award-winning architects LAVA (they are also responsible for Redfern’s unique Martian Embassy), will feature olive trees to illustrate the rooftop vista, which looks out over Kensington Street and the vertical hanging gardens that define the facade of Central Park.
It will be but one of the residents for The Old Rum Store, with the historic venue set to become a precinct of it’s own, launching within the next few months as a multi-layer food, drink and cultural destination.
Olio Kensington Street
Opens 28 January
Address: Second floor, The Old Rum Store, 2-10 Kensington Street, Chippendale
Contact: 02 9281 1500
Hours: 6:30pm-11pm (from 28th Jan to 4th February) || Mon-Sat 6:30pm-11pm (dinner), Thurs-Sat 11:30am-3pm (lunch); Mon-Sat from 5pm (Rooftop Terrazza).
Olio Kensington Street is open from 28th January 2017.