Scott Bolles

Bill Granger at the original bills, where it all began tweny years ago.
Bill Granger is rumoured to be vying for the Bennelong space. Photo: Marco Del Grande

The Sydney Opera House wanted an accessible concept for its Bennelong site and it looks like they will get it, with Sydney's king of the ricotta hotcake circling.

Bill Granger has a reputation for scrambled eggs and casual cool with a cafe empire stretching from England to Japan. Word is he is among those to tender for the site.

“As to the Opera House, no comment, I'm afraid,” he told Short Black.

Anthony Musarra at The Stokehouse.
Another Melbourne bid? The Stokehouse's Anthony Musarra spent time as a chef in Sydney. Photo: Gary Medlicott

Shall we take that as a yes?

The other strong piece of mail doing the rounds of the people's house is that Melbourne venue The Stokehouse has also thrown its toque in the ring. Stokehouse owner Frank van Haandel couldn't be reached for comment, but at least one member of his staff has an intimate knowledge of Sydney and its dining habits. Group General Manager Anthony Musarra is originally a Sydney boy who garnered a sizeable collection of awards as a chef in Sydney before relocating to Victoria.

Indeed, there is a strong Melbourne flavour to the Bennelong wannabes, Melbourne chef Shannon Bennett's name has also been bandied around as interested in the site. Bennett, who runs the fine-dining Vue de Monde, is also experienced at the more casual end of the market.

Current operator Guillaume Brahimi declined to re-tender for the site after the Opera House stated its preference for a bistro-style operation. His upmarket Guillaume at Bennelong restaurant will close at the end of the year.