Concrete Jungle swings open its doors in Chippendale this week with an absentee star from the breakfast menu.
"We won't serve bacon with our eggs, as the owner (Moe Mrad) wanted the menu to be halal," says chef Bryan O'Callaghan.
"It was a small bomb – I grew up on bacon sandwiches – but I started to see the opportunity."
The chef, a 10-year veteran at the Tilbury and most recently head chef at Harry's Bar & Dining in Bondi, uses wagyu bresaola as a bacon substitute. He's also introduced a wider "clean, green menu" and consulted a nutritionist.
"Concrete Jungle gets its name from the big Chippendale building near us with the hanging gardens, so we're trying to bring a bit of that approach to the menu. We make our own almond tofu (served with edamame, asparagus and buckwheat), house-smoke our salmon and serve Moroccan chicken with pomegranate, quinoa and pickled apricots. At some stage we'll also open for dinner," O'Callaghan says.
The chef was happy to discover a large portion of Australian meat is halal anyway. His only knock on wagyu bresaola is the price. "It's more expensive than bacon," he adds.
Open Monday-Friday 7am-3pm; weekends 7am-4pm.
58 Kensington Street, Chippendale, 0449 771 081