After successful openings in New York and Dubai in 2015, British Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton will open his highly-anticipated first Australian venue, Kensington Street Social, at The Old Clare Hotel in Chippendale on 13th January 2016. Atherton opens Kensington Street Social in partnership with Loh Lik Peng, director of global boutique hotel and restaurant group Unlisted Collection:.
The largest venue within The Old Clare Hotel, Kensington Street Social will seat 120 and will open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week, and also offer a Sunday brunch menu. With a relaxed all-day menu focused on British-Mediterranean share plates, the restaurant is designed to be flexible in its approach, from a cocktail and a snack, to a multi-course meal with paired wines. The menu is broken up into snacks, vegetables, raw and cured, sourdough flatbreads, fish and shellfish, meat, cheese and desserts.
Culinary director Atherton, and Australian executive chef Rob Daniels, are working closely with Australian producers to ensure Kensington Street Social is a true reflection of the country, with a wine list that shows the best of local wine regions and some international favourites. Daniels has worked with Atherton on a number of restaurants in the past twelve years, first at Maze London and later at Maze One & Only Cape Town.
Highlights from the all day menu include ‘English Breakfast tea and toast’ – a play on tea and toast with wild mushroom tea served in a teapot with relish and bone marrow toast; marinated salmon, tatsoi salad, chilli, wasabi ponzu; sea urchin risotto, Moreton Bay bug tail, lemon, bottarga; and Zokoko alto beni soufflé with macadamia ice-cream. Cheese will have a starring role on Atherton and Daniels’ menu with a number of cheese dishes including Aussie favourite Holy Goat La luna goats cheese being served with pickled fennel, bitter orange jam and cress. The breakfast menu will offer innovative and healthy options including organic seed and grain oatmeal porridge, pineapple, chilli and mint and lightly smoked flathead baked omelette, bacon and spring onion.
Beverage director Matt Fairhurst, who has come from Atherton’s Michelin-starred London restaurant City Social, is looking after beverages across the hotel. He has created different cocktail lists for each venue in a similar playful, pun-filled vein to Atherton’s award-winning London bars. Kensington Street Social’s Fruit Looped Cereal Killer cocktail of vodka, ‘Fruit Loop milk’, apricot and Aperol served in a milk carton and The Clare bar’s Kahuna Colada of pineapple rum and Batch Brewing’s coconut brown ale are two highlights from the constantly evolving list.
Atherton said, “I’m so excited to be opening my first restaurant in Sydney. I’m all about sourcing the best produce, and here the ingredients are just incredible – Australian black truffles, the seafood – so I’m looking forward to using them to reinterpret a few of the signature dishes from my London restaurants. I’ve had many Australian chefs in my brigade over the years, including my executive chef Rob and pastry chef Adrian Crabb, so it seemed like a natural step to come to Sydney and get the team back together.“
Designed by Shanghai-based Neri & Hu and executed by Matt Darwon, the sophisticated contemporary design will draw on the industrial heritage of the restaurant’s location within the former Carlton United Brewery building. Kensington Street Social will be split across two levels, with concrete finishes echoing Chippendale’s vibrant urban landscape.
Atherton’s The Social Company, headed locally by British general manager Michael Gavaghan, formerly of Gordon Ramsay’s Claridges and well-known Sydney venue The Gazebo, are looking after all food and beverage at The Old Clare Hotel including room service, The Clare bar and Rooftop Pool and Bar. The Social Company has a reputation for creating world-class bars, with The Blind Pig recently awarded Best International Restaurant Bar at the Spirited Awards 2015, and The Clare bar has already been nominated for TimeOut Sydney’s Best New Bar.
Kensington Street Social is the third venue to open within The Old Clare Hotel, joining Automata and Silvereye in what is fast becoming Sydney’s most-exciting restaurant precinct.