Short black

"Redfern is always going to have some colourful characters, but there?s a real buzz around the place":  chef James Kidman.
"Redfern is always going to have some colourful characters, but there's a real buzz around the place": chef James Kidman. Photo: Louise Kennerley

Redfern's gentrification and escalation in rental prices has fixated the media in recent weeks, but it is the suburb's simmering food scene that is really set to boil.

Former Claude's head chef Ben Sears selected Redfern for his start-up restaurant venture, Moon Park.

Now, former Otto Ristorante head chef James Kidman is set to follow Sears into postcode 2016. Kidman has been spotted scouting sites in the suburb, confirming he has just left his most recent role as group executive chef at the giant Doltone House Group and wants to open his own restaurant.

Kidman admits he stalked the standard Sydney turf for restaurant launches, coming within a whisker of snaring the Darcy's site in Paddington, before chef Guillaume Brahimi swooped.

''Redfern is always going to have some colourful characters, but there's a real buzz around the place,'' Kidman says.

Already awash with new cafes and wine bars, the suburb has also been under the expansion gaze of the Three Blue Ducks crew.

''Wah Fung, in Regent Street, is the local Chinese you dream of having in your neighbourhood,'' says Kidman, who wants to open an all-day operation similar to Melbourne's Cumulus Inc.

He thinks Redfern is ready for it.

''I also think people are prepared to come to you in a way they weren't 10 years ago,'' he says.