Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton is preparing for the launch of his first Australian venture, Kensington Street Social, located in the new-look Old Clare Hotel.
Expected to swing open its doors on 13 January, Atherton is launching the restaurant in partnership with Loh Lik Peng, director of global boutique hotel and restaurant group, Unlisted Collection.
The largest venue within The Old Clare Hotel, which this year has welcomed new restaurants including Silvereye and Automata, Kensington Street Social will seat 120 and will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week (and will offer a brunch menu on Sundays).
Atherton will be culinary director of the new Sydney venue, while Rob Daniels will be executive chef. The pair have worked together on a number of restaurants over the past 12 years, including Maze London and Maze One & Only Cape Town.
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.“
The menu will focus on British-Mediterranean share plates and will be broken up into sections including snacks, vegetables, raw and cured, sourdough flatbreads, fish and shellfish, meat, cheeses and desserts.
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 with tatsoi salad, chilli and wasabi ponzu; sea urchin risotto with Moreton Bay bug tail, lemon, bottarga; and Zokoko alto beni soufflé with macadamia ice-cream.
Cheese will play a key role on the menu with a number of cheese dishes including Holy Goat La luna goats cheese being served with pickled fennel, bitter orange jam and cress. The breakfast menu will offer 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, with options including 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.
Designed by Shanghai-based Neri & Hu and executed by Matt Darwon, the contemporary design draws on the industrial heritage of the restaurant’s location within the former Carlton United Brewery building.