Published in the City Hub and City News.
Word on the street is: Pyrmont’s dining precinct is about to get a whole lot wider!
Last week I was lucky enough to get along to the great chef unveiling at The Star. If you’re already scratching your head, I’m talking about the venue formerly known as Star City, which has been engaged in a one-hundred-and-eighty degree turn for the last little while. Of course redesigning which direction a building faces doesn’t come cheap. The renovation is costing somewhere in the vicinity of $860 million, but from what I can see; a beautiful harbour-facing building and a whole lot of star-studded dining awaits the people of Pyrmont.
Like most lefties, I have my doubts about gambling and casinos. However after getting married in Las Vegas, I can tell you one thing I REALLY like about them – subsidised dining! Basically, venues like The Star give you the chance to eat the menu of big-name international chefs in a satellite restaurant at a (usually) affordable price. David Chang, owner of New York’s Momofuku group of restaurants, is one such example. He’ll be opening Momofuku Seiōbo here, with Ben Greeno (ex-Noma) behind the pans. It’ll be Korean-American as this town’s never seen it.
With Chase Kojima we get one step better. He’s been cooking in Nobu kitchens around the world, culminating in heading up Nobu Bahamas as Executive Chef. Now he’s uprooted and moved here indefinitely, setting right in the heart of Pyrmont. He's clearly enjoying our fine suburb’s produce and cooking. If his snapper with pineapple and chilli ponzu served up at the launch is anything to go by, we’re in for some exciting times in his new restaurant Sokyo (named as a hybrid of Sydney and Tokyo).
Home-grown chefs Teage Ezard and Stefano Manfredi will also be opening their own satellite kitchens. Stefano’s new baby will be called Balla, and if his opening canapé of gnocchi gnudi is an example, he’s going to knock your socks off. Your doctor may of course hate him, but after you stick one of those plump, pillows of gnocchi into your gob, his surgery will look a long way away. Teage Ezard’s better known in Melbourne for Gingerboy. He dished up a wicked foie gras tartlet with braised oxtail and black truffle that had me indiscreetly chasing waiters for more.
There’s more to tell, but like most good meals, I’m just going to end with something I think is rather sweet. Balmain lad, Adriano Zumbo, will be part of this Pyrmont block party too. He announced his presence at the launch party with a raspberry soda spyder verrine – and lowbrow never looked so damn fine. So come September it might be time to check your attitude to casinos, and lap up all your hometown stomping ground has to offer. We’re all looking enviously at you, Pyrmont.