Smudge Eats: The Paddington

[Originally published on Smudge Eats, January 4th 2016]

Profile: The Paddington, Sydney

- by Camilla Sampson

Try a new style of European cooking right in the heart of the city, in The Paddington’s casual and relaxing space.

Ben Greeno, known for his work at three-hatted Momofuku Seiobo and Copenhagen’s Noma, has brought the French rotisserie cooking style to Oxford Street, Sydney. Part of a team made up of well-known names in the hospitality industry, The Paddington is sure to make its mark quickly. The venue comes from Merivale hospitality, established in Australia more than 59 years ago, and adds to a portfolio of more than 50 bars, restaurants, and hotels.

Justin Hemmes, Chief Executive Officer, wanted to open The Paddington because he could recall Oxford Street as a child and wanted to inject some of the former “magic” he had experienced. Mixing together a pub and restaurant style, the venue is spacious with different styles of seating areas. There is the option to sit at high tables with a view into the exciting and busy kitchen, or sit in plush chairs around circular tables, which line the walls in a lounge-style room. There’s a private room on offer, white tiling, paint-stripped walls, and wood panelling.

The vibe is more laid-back than the high-end dining Ben Greeno is known for. However the passion and effort behind his new kitchen is anything but relaxed. Ben travelled to France to survey the way in which rotisseries are part of the French lifestyle as well as custom-made French rotisseries they planned to import. This style of cooking, the norm over in Europe, is something much less known in Sydney, and so the team hopes people will travel from all over to try their delicious rotisserie meats.

A whole or half chicken often steals the show, but there is also beef, lamb and fish. Dishes at first appear to be casual, but Ben and his team present them with expert flavour pairings. Ingredients are decided based on the best seasonal produce on offer, and there are some unique share plates to go around too. Ben’s English roots are also apparent in some dishes, such as the smoked trout with English muffin and duck egg.

What is brilliant is that parts of the menu even continue past 10.30pm, including the roast chicken with fries and salad, and crab on toast. The Paddington offers something a little special for late night bites, providing a delicious ending to any evening out.

To accompany your food there are plenty of cocktails from Palmer and Co’s, Toby Marshall and Sam Egerton and the wine list is carefully curated by award-winning Sommelier, Franck Moreau. Wines come in from all over, and there is a mix of well known labels and exciting wines from smaller producers.

The Paddington is the perfect place to while away those lazy summer weekends, and get a taste of Europe in the city.

FoodCamilla Sampson