One of the most anticipated food hubs in Sydney, South Eveleigh, has officially begun its staggered opening process.

The former suite of railway sheds in Sydney’s industrial heartland is now home to some of the city’s most celebrated culinary forces, including Kylie Kwong (Billy Kwong), Matt Whiley (Scout) and Orazio D’Elia (Matteo).

The first stages of the opening are now completed, with a number of well-known venues and retailers open to the public. Eat Fun, RaRa Chan, Steve Costi’s Famous Fish, Fishbowl and Bekya are among those already serving.

This week, one of South Eveleigh’s most highly anticipated offerings commenced trade. Re, the pioneering minimal-waste bar by Matt Whiley and Maurice Terzini (Icebergs Dining Room & Bar, CicciaBella) combines the calibre of drinks program that has made Whiley an international name with an ethos that priorities sustainability and local ingredients. The bar has the eventual aim of becoming no-waste.

The cocktails on the drinks list at Re exemplify Whiley and Terzini’s respective signature styles. On the classic side of the equation is a Martini served with white truffle and olive leaf; a Sbagliato with a hint of rhubarb; and a Margarita infused with rockmelon.

Many of the drinks on the Signature menu take their cue from surplus produce salvaged from local markets. For instance, the Wimbledon Gimlet incorporates excess strawberries that have been pickled then mixed into a vodka base, while the Old Fashioned uses a base of syrup made from banana skins.

All drinks at Re are being served in reclaimed Maison Balzac glasses.

“We want to show how you can have an impact, so that other venues can look at us, then do the same”, says Whiley. “Yes Re is built on waste, but it’s this really incredible, refined space with heritage character. We want to change people’s expectations of what low-waste means, and encourage others to build and operate this way.”

Next on the list of high-profile openings in the South Eveleigh drinking and dining precinct is the latest from Kylie Kwong. Set to open in May, her new concept, which is yet to be named, will be a departure from Billy Kwong, instead focusing on a simplified, casual-dining menu.

Sharing the Locomotive Workshops building of South Eveleigh, where Kylie Kwong’s new concept will find its home, will be The Grounds, who are set to open their third Sydney venue within the dining and lifestyle hub.

Each of the venues within South Eveleigh is located within a series of heritage railway buildings that have been restored by Mirvac, who are behind the new dining and retail precinct. The transformation has retained hundreds of old artefacts from the area’s original 19th-century operations, when it functioned as Australia’s national rail network.

The site also has significant relevance for Sydney’s Indigenous community. In the modern-day South Eveleigh, this continues through the existence of the South Eveleigh Community Rooftop Garden, which will be a place for education on native fauna as well as a functioning community garden, growing edible plants for use by the hospitality retailers.

“The vision for South Eveleigh has been not only to create a world-class technology and innovation hub to work and play, but also to curate a food and retail space that has people and community at its heart, and that is welcoming and accessible to everyone,” says Mirvac’s Head of Commercial Property, Campbell Hanan.

“Some of Australia’s best and most dynamic restaurateurs and operators have chosen South Eveleigh as their home due to the history, culture and unique opportunity to be a part of shaping this vibrant new destination.”

South Eveleigh‘s rollout of openings will continue throughout 2021.

Photography by Kitty Gould.