Bria Sydney, owner of the Elk and Pea.
Bria Sydney, owner of the Elk and Pea. Photo: Gary Schafer

Kirsten Lawson

POP INTO PEA

Bria Sydney has a knack for a venue, so the opening of her new venture, the Elk and Pea Eating House, is the kind of thing that creates a bit of a buzz.

Sydney ran the Parlour Wine Room in the New Acton area before it was destroyed in the fire that also saw the demise of the Flint Dining Room and Bar. She still plans to reopen Parlour, but with that project still months away, Sydney says she got itchy feet waiting.

The Elk and Pea, with chef Nick Parkinson as business partner, is in Lonsdale Street, at the top end near the Bottle-O, Gusto Pizza and the new Lonsdale Street Roasters outlet. It’s a cafe open for breakfast and lunch seven days (Sunday and Monday closed for dinner), with a South American/Argentinian theme and shared plates.

Parkinson, who has been in London since the Parlour closure (working at the Capital Hotel in Knightsbridge, where Michelin two-star Nathan Outlaw runs the restaurant) says he’s aiming for a street-food feel, with chargrilled meats, pork spare ribs and the like.

You’ll find burgers ($16) and good-sounding sandwiches ($12) on the lunch menu, and Caribbean jerk chicken ($26); or sirloin with chimichurri and habanero mustard ($26) among the mains.  Sydney says the aim is to keep the menu, wine list and cocktail list small and fast changing.

Sommelier at Aubergine, Peter Bell, writes the wine list, and the idea is wines you won’t find easily in the bottle shops. Breakfast offers a blast-you-awake start in the form of a “espresso tequila martini” ($16) or a berocca ($3).

The Elk and Pea closes on Christmas Eve, reopening January 2.