Sydney isn't short of high-wire culinary acts, but a German-raised, Hong Kong-based chef opening a New York grill with a "Japanese twist"? Say, what?
Welcome to 2017, and with all that going on under its bonnet you'd justifiably expect Stanley Wong's Sydney start-up to have a slightly more exotic name than Eastside Grill. Wong, who has a Chinese father and German mother, earned good notices at Hong Kong's Mandarin Oriental Hotel before joining Tanda and Spice Market in NYC.
It was a good education for Eastside Grill, which opened at the weekend.
In recent years, the chef has been back in Hong Kong, operating a private kitchen and investing in a steak house. "Dr Stanley Quek approached me about doing a joint venture in Chippendale," says Wong. "At first we were going to do an upmarket Chinese, but we thought this was good for the area."
Sydney design outfit Giant has nailed the New York warehouse brief, with Hong Kong-based street artist Caratoes jazzing up the walls. And Wong has taken to our produce. Sashimi of Moreton Bay bug is on the opening menu, along with a bourbon-brined pork chop cooked over Japanese coals.
"We're doing a New York-style cheesecake, and there were doubters whether our truffled mac and cheese would sell in Australia, but has been really popular during the [Eastside Grill's trial] dinners," Wong says.
Open Thu-Sat noon-2.30pm; Mon-Sat 5.30pm till late.
Level 1, 2-10 Kensington Street, Chippendale, 9212 0900, eastsidegrill.com.au