Claudio Morales, the former Regatta and Ash Street Cellar chef who turned down a position at Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck restaurant in Britain to return to Australia for family reasons, has opened a new eatery.
Pennys Ln, a modest entrant with business partner David Nguyen, elevates the basics.
Free-range smoked bacon belly is on the breakfast menu, and the late menu (2-9pm) delves into beetroot salad territory, made with golden and red beets served with seared witlof, blood orange and goat's curd dressed in a pomegranate and beetroot molasses.
There is also charcuterie, local cheeses and a couple of more substantial offerings, including a pan-roasted snapper.
Nguyen says the philosophy of respect for growers and produce extends to staff, who are offered a share of profits.
The site, on the corner of Pennys Lane and Kings Cross Road, has had a rocky food history.
It housed Tom Kime's Ceru restaurant, wine bar Time to Vino and originally shared the almost identically named Penny's Lane.
"I was just told that by a neighbour; we had no idea," Nguyen says.
Open Mon-Tue 7am-2pm; Wed-Sun 7am-9pm.
Corner Kings Cross Road and Pennys Lane, Kings Cross, 02 9295 8850, pennysln.com.au