If you live in Sydney, you owe it to yourself to visit restaurants in neighbourhoods that feel a bit like foreign countries. Stanton & Co. in Rosebery is one such place that could very well be in Brooklyn, New York. Rosebery has been slowly revealing its secrets and charms over the course of a few decades. Although it’s not far from the cushioned cloisters of the Eastern Suburbs, the area has a lot more edge to its personality.
The Cannery Rosebery brings together some of the best providores, restaurants, bars, brands and artisan experiences to the precinct, housed in 11,000 sq. m of revived warehouse space. When we say revived, what we mean is the old warehouse that was the Rosella Soup Cannery next door has been Hoovered up and spat back out as the new and improved The Cannery Rosebery.
Today the building is a little bit old and a little bit new … all heritage facades and polished thoroughfares, posh toilets and unfailingly cheerful young couples strolling around the space. Two buildings became one to form The Cannery, which also houses hip tenants such as Archie Rose Distilling Co. Black Star Pastry, Three Blue Ducks, VIVE Cooking School.
Julian Damjano is the new restaurant manager at Stanton & Co. and after managing henrys Cronulla for the past few years, he’s now putting the culinary treasures of The Cannery in the spotlight. The restaurant gets its name from Richard Stanton, the property developer who transformed the area into an industrial hub in the early 1900s.
The Alexander & Co-designed space is as hot as the Bondi sun. And they’ve nailed the feng shui: with its lofty ceilings and exposed brick walls the upscale establishment feels like a showcase for great design. Adding to the NYC vibe is a zinc-topped bar, kitchen bar dining and a few park benches. It’s such an aesthetically pleasing place to eat that diners often stay and play.
Stanton & Co. sits discreetly on the second floor of The Cannery and on this Saturday night has a very civilised bucks’ party in full swing, lots of couples on date nights and a playlist that ripples and flows and roars through the room.
The venue is led by group executive chef Regan Porteous and head chef Marcelino Papio and sous chef Ashish Karki whose accomplished cooking is on show on the night we’re in. When you’re ensconced on one of the leather banquettes, it really does feel more Brooklyn than a backstreet in Sydney. Begin your eating exploits with an entree of raw share bites such as salmon carpaccio with curls of sweet ‘n’ sour onions so translucent you can make out the pink flesh of the fish.
Listen to your waiter when he suggests the charred octopus and watch as he heroically delivers the plate of food to your table, grinning in anticipation of the joy he is about to bring. The tentacles are so tender that we can’t stop yammering about the dish … to the point where the table of two beside us follow our lead.
We also order the sashimi tacos with barley miso, which may kickstart a Mexican-Japanese fusion renaissance. Although we started with seafood, we finish with the slow-cooked lamb shoulder to share and charred broccolini and heirloom carrots on the side. The crispy-edged lamb is loaded with flavour and splashed with its own juices. It’s a hefty meal that is hugely satisfying (so much so we order leftovers to go as part of our War On Waste campaign).
Dessert to share at this Euro-American saloon is a show-stopper coming out as an extravagant arrangement that makes tackling it a lot of fun. A word in your ear: The salted caramel ice cream with chocolate, textures is the thing. The Cannery is very much like a lifestyle centre for inner-west hipsters. On your way out, drop in for a nightcap at Archie & Co. or press your nose to the glass at the cooking class that is in full swing and vow to return to see if The Cannery does everything else it says it does on the tin.
Porteous, who worked at Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck and was head chef at Zuma in Hong Kong and Dubai, has also designed the menus at Riley St Garage, Surly’s American BBQ and the Village Inn, the three other restaurants under The Parlour Group umbrella.Visit parlourgroup.com.au/stantonandco