With Tetsuya Wakuda and David Thompson both hitting up Singapore with food ventures, it was only a matter of time before the Lion City punched back. The first shots have been fired and it isn't an invasion of Asian food, more a case of Singapore's long-term international food operators knocking on Sydney's door.
Sicilian-born Lino Sauro has opened the doors at Olio Kensington Street, an Italian restaurant that joins a throng of new players on Chippendale's newest eat street. His neighbours include Singapore-based Frederic Colin, the operator of Bistrot Gavroche. LAVA, the architecture and design shop behind Redfern's the Martian Embassy, crafted the Olio space.
"We thought it was important. One of the things that really stands out about Sydney is the restaurant environment. The design and service is really good here," Sauro says.
The chef, a fan of Sydney's Ormeggio restaurant, is bringing some of the classic dishes that edged him up Singapore's food ladder over the past decade.
"The seafood stew in the terracotta pot is on the menu, and the risone with braised octopus and bone marrow. The seafood is excellent here. The difference I've really noticed is in Singapore you need to import everything, in Sydney you can find everything."
Open Thu-Sat 11.30am-3pm; Mon-Sat 6.30pm-11pm
Level 2, 2-10 Kensington Street, Chippendale, olio.kensingtonstreet.com.au