Merivales The Paddington to open next week

17 November, 2015 by
Aoife Boothroyd

The first of three new venues under the Merivale umbrella will open next week on Sydney’s Oxford Street, The Paddington.

The venue will offer a rotisserie-led menu created by executive chef Ben Greeno (ex Momofuku Seiobo and Noma), a cocktail list by Palmer and Co.’s Sam Egerton and Toby Marshall, and a wine list curated by master sommelier Franck Moreau and Adrian Filiuta.

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“We are extremely excited to open in Paddington,” says Merivale CEO Justin Hemmes. “I have very fond memories of what Oxford Street used to be and we are looking forward to bringing some of that magic back to such an iconic part of Sydney. Ben is an undeniable culinary talent, arguably one of the best in the world, and he is going to deliver something truly special at The Paddington”.

The venue has been designed around Grenno’s vision for the menu and the style of cooking, and boasts custom-made French rotisseries which form the centrepiece of the pub.

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Dishes will include the likes of lamb rump with red pepper and almonds; wagyu beef with artichokes, pickled mustard seeds and watercress; whole fish stuffed with olives, lemon and thyme; and of course, roast chicken with French fries.

A generous selection of small plates including octopus, potato, confit tomato and black olives; smoked trout with English muffin and duck egg; spelt, roast cabbage, kombu and prawns; and parmesan custard with sprouted pulses will also be on offer.

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“I want to create food that lends itself to a good time, dishes that can be shared amongst friends. I thought, ‘why don’t we do rotisserie?’” says Greeno. “There’s no reason why the food can’t be as good and complex as a high-end restaurant, even though it’s served in more casual surrounds”.

An impressive wine and cocktail list will complement Greeno’s food offering, both of which will champion classic drops and creations. Over 600 cocktails were blind-tasted to create the final selection.

The design of the venue has been brought to life by Kelvin Ho and Emilie Delalande of Akin Creative, stylist Amanda Talbot and Justin and Bettina Hemmes. The venue boasts a relaxed, quintessential British charm with white glazed ceramic tiles, painted timber panelling and dark timber furniture – somewhat reminiscent of an old local butcher.

Upstairs, the venue features intimate booth seating, panelled walls, a leather-fronted cocktail bar and mirrored tables along with a private dining room surrounded by a floor-to-ceiling distressed landscape mural painted by local Sydney artist Desmond Sweeney.

Merivale will open two more venues in Paddington in the coming months including a chicken shop in the small shopfront next to The Paddington which will serve take-away only rotisserie chicken, salads and sandwiches; and a new restaurant concept, Fred’s, two doors down from The Paddington, which will be led by Danielle Alvarez of Chez Panisse and the Napa Valley’s three-Michelin-starred French Laundry.

The menu at Fred’s will be shaped by Alvarez’s food philosophy – to elevate already perfect produce using old-world techniques such as cooking with a wood-fired hearth and oven.

The basement of Fred’s will be home to a tapas bar and eatery.

Merivale will be opening a total of eight new concepts by February 2016, and as such is in the middle of their biggest recruitment drive yet. According to group HR manager Kate Tones, Merivale is hiring 100 new staff per week across the business

The group opened the J&M whisky bar last week on level two of the Angel Hotel in Sydney's CBD last week and will re-launch Enmore's Queen Victoria Hotel in January, Newport Arms in February and Wine Bar, King Street in the current location of Merivale's Work in Progress venue in February.