Boat­ies in for a treat, as top names jump on board

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Indulgence -

A250-SEAT water­front restau­rant fit­ted out by de­signer du jour Michael McCann, with a menu overseen by for­mer Wild­fire chef Michael James, will be part of a new mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar marine cen­tre be­ing built at Syd­ney’s Rozelle Bay.

A cafe, prove­dore and bar will also be opened by the rapidly ex­pand­ing Dock­side Group, which re­cently took over Water­front restau­rant and Wolfies Grill at Syd­ney’s The Rocks and runs Ice Cube Seafood Bar and Grill at Dar­ling Har­bour, Ital­ian Vil­lage at The Rocks and four other water­front func­tion venues.

The as yet un­named Rozelle Bay restau­rant, ex­pected to be open by Oc­to­ber next year, will be a ca­sual af­fair with a large, cen­tral pizza oven and a seafood-fo­cused menu, Dock­side Group group gen­eral man­ager Philip Beauchamp tells FoodDe­tec­tive. It will be open for lunch and din­ner seven days a week.

‘‘ Michael McCann has put through four con­cepts for the restau­rant in­te­rior,’’ Beauchamp says. ‘‘ We are very con­fi­dent about Michael’s work so will not vary too much from what he pro­poses. De­sign-wise, it’s too early to say how it will look, but I can say it will be more White­wa­ter (a ca­sual Manly water­front restau­rant de­signed by McCann) than Fly­ing Fish (an up-mar­ket McCann-de­signed Pyr­mont venue).’’

The fo­cus will be on laid­back din­ing un­der the di­rec­tion of Welsh-born James, who was ap­pointed ex­ec­u­tive chef over­see­ing Dock­side Group’s restau­rants ear­lier this year. ‘‘ The food will be quite mod­ern and will in­vest heav­ily in good pro­duce. The fact that (the restau­rant) is sit­ting (vir­tu­ally) on top of the Syd­ney Fish Mar­kets will be a fea­ture,’’ Beauchamp says. ‘‘ It’s never go­ing to be a three-hat restau­rant. But that’s not the in­tent.’’

A cafe-prove­dore and a small bar will com­plete the of­fer­ing at the Syd­ney Boathouse marine cen­tre site, across the wa­ter from Glebe’s Bi­cen­ten­nial Park and Black­wat­tle Bay.

The con­tro­ver­sial de­vel­op­ment, ap­proved in May last year, will in­clude a $90 mil­lion dry stor­age fa­cil­ity for 670 boats, ser­vice fa­cil­i­ties, com­mer­cial offices, marine re­tail space and a float­ing ma­rina.

‘‘ Our in­tent is to be a one-stop shop for boat­ies so they can call ahead or book their boat to be dropped into the wa­ter. When they ar­rive they can park their car, go to the cafe, which will have an ex­ten­sive se­lec­tion of gro­cery pro­duce, fresh fish and the like, all to be taken away on their boat,’’ Beauchamp says. ‘‘ As with the rest of the project, it will be fully open to the pub­lic.’’ www.syd­ney­; www.dock­side­

AN­OTHER po­ten­tial water­front de­vel­op­ment in­volves Mac­quarie Wharf No 1 in Sul­li­van’s Cove, Tas­ma­nia. Colour­ful lo­cal iden­tity David Walsh, who is in the throes of build­ing the con­tro­ver­sial $70 mil­lion Mu­seum of Old and New Art (it has a sex and death theme and claims it will be the south­ern hemi­sphere’s largest pri­vately owned art mu­seum when com­pleted in 2010), also wants to de­velop a large-scale art ex­hi­bi­tion space and bar on the Ho­bart water­front.

The de­vel­op­ment, which is still in its con­cep­tual stages, ac­cord­ing to Walsh’s spokesman Mark Wils­don, will in­clude a cut­ting-edge bar and restau­rant, which Walsh in­tends to repli­cate in cities such as Shang­hai, Mel­bourne, Syd­ney, San Fran­cisco and some Euro­pean arts precincts.

‘‘ We’d like to cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment (that) al­lows peo­ple to en­joy a drink and so­cialise while en­gag­ing in the art,’’ says Wils­don, who plans to simul­cast arts events be­tween the bars.

‘‘ The work­ing ti­tle be­ing kicked around is Bart, a com­bi­na­tion of bar and art. In the restau­rant, we’d like to show­case Tas­ma­nian pro­duce and in­ves­ti­gate the pos­si­bil­ity of hav­ing a chef in res­i­dence pro­gram, like an artist in res­i­dence, where the chef could de­velop a theme and run the restau­rant un­der their name for a time be­fore some­one else comes in.’’

Walsh hopes to get that fa­mous ad­vo­cate for all things Tas­ma­nian, Tet­suya Wakuda, on board to help source tal­ent for the project. ‘‘ There is cur­rently a re­view of the master­plan for the whole water­front and we are wait­ing for them to in­vite ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est be­fore we can ap­ply (for de­vel­op­ment ap­proval),’’ Wils­don says.

Walsh is in­deed a busy man. In ad­di­tion to Mona and his water­front plans, he is spending $17 mil­lion up­grad­ing his Moo­rilla Es­tate win­ery, which will in­clude four new ac­com­mo­da­tion pavil­ions and an in­door swim­ming pool. www.moo­

AN­OTHER Tas­ma­nian on the move is chef Cas­san­dra Zukauskas, who has joined Aman­galla in Galle, Sri Lanka, as its new ex­ec­u­tive chef. The well­trav­elled Zukauskas has made stops at Syd­ney’s Rock­pool, South Africa’s Makanyane Sa­fari Lodge and Cam­bo­dia’s ex­quis­ite Ho­tel de la Paix in Siem Reap on the way to her lat­est gig at the up-mar­ket Aman re­sort. www.aman­re­

HERE’S one that De­tec­tive, thank­fully, hasn’t yet seen on the NSW Food Au­thor­ity’s con­tro­ver­sial restau­rant nam­ing and sham­ing web­site. A fast-food restau­rant owner from Wolver­hamp­ton, in Eng­land’s West Mid­lands, has been banned from work­ing with food af­ter he con­tin­ued mak­ing ke­babs while his dead col­league lay on a sofa in the same room.

Jaswinder Singh, 45, owner of Pappu Sweet Cen­tre & Ca­ter­ing, begged mag­is­trates for one last chance, but the com­bi­na­tion of a corpse, a rat found un­der a kitchen pan, mouldy food and a fly in­fes­ta­tion was all too much for hor­ri­fied reg­u­la­tors, the BBC re­ports.



FIND of the week: The key to elim­i­nat­ing plas­tic bags from our su­per­mar­kets is to hit peo­ple in the hip pocket, it seems. A 10c charge for plas­tic shop­ping bags in Vic­to­ria’s War­rnam­bool, Wan­garatta and Foun­tain Gate ar­eas be­tween Au­gust 18 and Septem­ber 14 re­sulted in a 79 per cent drop in their use, Vic­to­rian En­vi­ron­ment and Cli­mate Change Min­is­ter Gavin Jen­nings has re­vealed. The trial fee, in­tro­duced at Coles, Wool­worths and IGA check­outs, is a ‘‘ pleas­ing re­sult’’, Jen­nings says. Funds raised by the 10c levy will go into lo­cal en­vi­ron­men­tal projects and a fi­nal re­port on the out­come will be made pub­lic this month.

DE­TEC­TIVE loves: That Stephanie Alexan­der’s Kitchen Gar­den Pro­gram (see At­thetable­with Mag­gie Beer, this page) has just been launched in NSW. The Vic­to­rian-orig­i­nated scheme, in which 20,000 Aus­tralian pupils in years 3 to 6 will learn to grow, har­vest and pre­pare food at school, is be­ing funded by the fed­eral Gov­ern­ment to the tune of $12.8 mil­lion. The scheme even­tu­ally will see a veg­etable gar­den and kitchen es­tab­lished at up to 190 schools across the coun­try.­gar­den­foun­da­

DE­TEC­TIVE loathes: The in­dus­trial eye­sore across the wa­ter that greets out­door din­ers at Syd­ney Fish Mar­kets. Di­lap­i­dated sheds and dis­carded build­ing ma­te­ri­als are surely not what we want tourists to be greeted with when they visit one of our best food­iebased at­trac­tions. De­tec­tive lives in hope that a cleanup of the Pyr­mont Bridge Road site will hap­pen in her life­time.

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