The Alcott opens in Lane Cove this week. And while the 250-seat restaurant has a luxe fitout and the former head chef from Sake restaurant in its kitchen, it also provides one of those very Sydney quirks: the need to register as a club member.
Since the days of the six o'clock swill, Sydneysiders have been put in the difficult position of having to explain to foreign visitors the workings of everything from the lockout laws to the shifting sands of BYO.
The Alcott is bankrolled by Norths Group (aka North Sydney Leagues club), which also operates the Greens, North Sydney. Norths snapped up the Lane Cove Club in 2016. As a spokeswoman for the Alcott explains, this means if you're planning to come for lunch or dinner "the five kilometre radius (club) rule applies". So prepare to sign in or join up as a club member.
Head chef Richard Slarp, who spent time in the kitchen at est restaurant as well as Sake, has introduced a simple but clever menu with some nice touches.
It swings from burrata with crushed peas and pesto to salmon fillet with burnt lemon yoghurt, watercress and spinach puree. And he's going to lift the bar higher with specials such as split bugs with blood orange and chilli butter.
And while you shouldn't expect any Sake dishes at the Med-leaning Alcott, the chef says he is using the same quality seafood.
He's impressed with his new surrounds. "There's a couple of hundred grand of greenery in here."
Open daily lunch and dinner.
1 Birdwood Avenue, Lane Cove, thealcott.com.au