After 17 years and 'millions of dollars', The Fenwick opens in Balmain

The Fenwick has just opened at the historic Fenwick Stone Building in Balmain.
The Fenwick has just opened at the historic Fenwick Stone Building in Balmain. Photo: Kimberley Low

The latest reclaimed building on Sydney Harbour will fire up as a food venue, with the historic Fenwick Stone Building opening this week as The Fenwick.

The East Balmain building, which spent most of last century devoted to boat storage and repair, will instead be sailing forth with risotto.

"It has taken 17 years and millions of dollars," says Bill Drakopoulos, the restaurateur behind a string of restaurants including Aqua Dining, Ormeggio at the Spit and Ripples.

The Fenwick's menu stars seafood dishes.
The Fenwick's menu stars seafood dishes. Photo: Kimberley Low

The building, which created controversy among Balmain residents when Leichhardt Council trotted out a development plan back in 2015, is the latest addition to Drakopoulos' impressive tally of eight waterfront venues.

His partner in the venue is Aqua Dining executive chef Davide Rebeccato.

"The food is a step up from Ripples but not at Aqua Dining Level. It's rustic. Put it this way, they won't be using tweezers to put microherbs on the plate," Drakopoulos says.

Prosciutto and burrata at The Fenwick.
Prosciutto and burrata at The Fenwick. Photo: Kimberley Low

Rebeccato will make pasta in-house, and while there is plenty of Italian inspiration, the chef maintains it won't define the venue.

"If something is good, we'll use it. There'll be sashimi and oysters, and a rib-eye on the bone."

Eggs might be served with parmesan fondue and asparagus.

The Fenwick has its own gallery on the first floor. The only thing it won't offer is an evening vista of the harbour – it is restricted to daytime trading.

Open daily 7am-5pm.

2-8 Weston Street, Balmain East, 02 9159 4700, thefenwick.com.au