When chef turned MasterChef judge Jock Zonfrillo called time last week on his award-winning Adelaide restaurant Orana, Sydney eats streets lit up with the rumour it was a pre-emptive strike in a broader plan to relocate Orana to the harbour city.
The MasterChef judge didn't reply to Good Food's query. He's understandably busy, launching legal proceedings over an article in another newspaper for wrongly accusing him of pretending to support a prawn farm run by an Aboriginal corporation in order to win an award.
There's also loose ends to tie up in Adelaide; it turns out The Living Room Bar Pty Ltd (trading as Restaurant Orana) has been placed in the hands of administrators.
Zonfrillo already tested the Sydney market last year with a pop-up in the former Longrain site in Surry Hills, where he declined an offer to turn the arrangement into a more permanent one.
Those close to Zonfrillo say he's busy with his native food flavour lab. Throw in COVID and the border situation and bad news Sydney diners, Orana Sydney is unlikely anytime soon.