Could a restaurant launch be any more COVID-era than the opening today of Seta Sydney, where its Michelin-star executive chef has to oversee the kitchen from Italy via Zoom?
Entry back into Australia for Matteo Vigotti (Peck, Novecento) has been restricted since he popped back to Italy for a quick visit to celebrate his birthday in March. He's been stuck there ever since. Fortunately for Sydney diners, Seta has head chef Giovanni Astolfoni actually in the kitchen.
When Vigotti is finally cleared to return to Australia he'll find one of the most beautiful new dining rooms Sydney has seen in some time.
Designer Michael McCann (Felix, Mr Wong, Whitewater, Victor Churchill) has a great track record for creating interiors with staying power.
And the detailing at Seta skips from hand-cut marble floors to Jarrah panelling and bespoke furniture. McCann explains owner Tonci Farac is a fan of Philippe Starck, so he's thrown a few reinterpreted Starck nods in the mix.
"I wanted to do the building justice given its heritage – it was the first bank in Australia," Farac says.
The menu also sounds up for the challenge, including soqquadro pasta with vongole, sea urchins and pecorino, as well as the kitchen's interpretation of bruschetta, which sits on a base of parmigiano reggiano wafer.
And there's more to come. Seta's Crudo Bar and private dining room will open in early 2021.
Open: Mon-Fri lunch; Mon-Sat dinner.
11 Barrack Street, Sydney, setasydney.com.au