The results are only just in from The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide Awards and the next batch of restaurants are already lining up for next season, kicking off with a new venture from Kitchen by Mike's Mike McEnearney. The chef will open No.1 Bent Street by Mike next January at The Wintergarden, on Bent Street in the CBD.
McEnearney, who split with his former partners at Kitchen by Mike in June, is no stranger to the northern end of the city, having worked at Rockpool as head chef. While his new venue will be more formal than Rosebery, don't expect a Rockpool rival.
"It's basically Kitchen by Mike without the queue. There'll be waiter service, a good wine list. The move away from canteen style will let me do a few dishes I wasn't able to serve before," he says.
With the Rosebery home of Kitchen by Mike currently closed, owner Koskela plans to reopen it with a new concept this month. McEnearney is also hunting sites to reopen the canteen-style Kitchen by Mike in a new location next year. But for now, he's concentrating on the city opening.
"I've always wanted to have something in the city. I loved working at Rockpool, and I think the city is still underserviced," he says. It's a view shared by many Sydney restaurateurs: the posse of upcoming downtown launches includes Mercado, Bistro Guillaume, Hubert, 1821 and MoVida Next Door.