Dine with the Archibald, what Mat Lindsay is doing next, and more
Great art and great food go hand in hand, so if you haven't been to the Archibald Prize yet, then now is an opportune time. To celebrate the nation's most famous portrait exhibition, currently on at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Chiswick at the Gallery has a limited Archibald Dining Package. Chiswick at the Gallery head chef Tom Brindley has collaborated with some of the Prize's leading artists, including winner Tony Costa, to create menus inspired by the artist's stories. The $82 deal includes a main, dessert, wine or beer, entry to the exhibition and a $2 donation to the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence. There will be new dishes on the menu each month until the exhibition's run ends in September.
Paddington favourite Tequila Mockingbird is launching a CBD spinoff. Esteban will open in the former Grasshopper bar site in Temperance Lane in October.
Owner Michael Fegent scouted about for a second venue opportunity for some time and bought the empty Grasshopper site late last year. He plans to introduce a tequila and mescal bar and bring Tequila Mockingbird’s contemporary Latin American flavours to the city. The move coincides with the Paddington Five Ways venue’s third birthday. The Heeley Street restaurant is renowned for offering some of Sydney’s finest Latino dishes and excellent cocktails.
ON A ROLL
Some of the biggest names in Sydney food are joining together to launch one of the most unusual projects of the year: Shwarmama Take-Away in Surry Hills. The outfit will be a collaboration between Mat Lindsay (Ester, Poly), Russell Beard (Reuben Hills) and Mark Dundon and Ping Jin Ng (Paramount Coffee Project, Paramount House Hotel). The tiny venue will be an all-day and late-night shawarma and felafel outfit, mostly designed as a takeaway venue, but also featuring a 10-seat restaurant. There will be just four takeaway items: a marinated-lamb shawarma, a felafel pita, sabich — an Israeli breakfast kebab with eggplant and boiled eggs — and a halal snack pack. “We were going through a phase at Ester of making shawarma-style things for Sunday lunches, and got really excited about it,” says Lindsay “I half-jokingly threw the idea out there to Russell, and here we are. It’s a bit of an experiment.” The space, which will be fully licensed, is designed by Anthony Gill, who was also responsible for both Poly and Ester. It opens in September. 106-112 Commonwealth St, Surry Hills.
Paris-born chef Pierre Gaudin will conduct a three-hour French cooking class at the new Surry Hills Essential Ingredient store and cooking school on July 27. Gaudin, who spent 15 years in fine dining and hotels and is now based in Sydney, will take students through some classic French dishes including tapenade, the perfect French chicken roast, pommes de terre fondantes and tarte tatin. The class, $170, will be rich with the tips and techniques that underpin French cuisine. Afterwards you can check out the lovely new store full of kitchen accoutrements and specialty foods, which relocated from Rozelle in February. The store is now the only Essential Ingredient in the Sydney area.
YULE LOVE IT
The InterContinental Sydney Double Bay’s Stillery Bar & Dining marks Christmas in July with mulled wine every evening and a festive feast served every Thursday to Saturday throughout the month. Winter-themed cocktails including white chocolate and peppermint martinis will be available alongside a three-course set menu of Crystal Bay prawns, merlot-glazed pork belly and the belly-warming sticky fig pudding. Set menus are $79. Sounds about perfect. 33 Cross Street, Double Bay