Michael Chiem's CBD hotspots
The Cross Eatery has set up in the cavernous foyer of the new development at 155 Clarence Street (up the Officeworks end) and they are bringing brunch vibes to your midday meal. Imagine Kitchen by Mike with a corporate edge.
The space is beautiful but Skittle Lane ain’t just about Instagram-worthy interiors – these guys are dishing out full-bodied brews. Two large steely silver La Marzocco coffee machines pump out espressi, which are the exact right way to kick start your morning: rich, gentle and very well made.
Beloved Surry Hills institution Single O now has an outpost squarely in the middle of the business district, and it offers so much more than beans. It’s a simple fitout – essentially just a shopfront with a bench top and a few stools. But it’s slick, too, with artful, rusty metal features and portholes revealing a selection of coffee bags (which, by the way, you can purchase and take home).
Once the administration offices of the Maritime Services Board, this waterside museum was overhauled head to toe (well, almost) in 2011 and re-opened in March 2012. It's not just good looks, either: the rooftop café and sculpture terrace, high-tech education centre, and 120-seat lecture theatrette and forecourt are all worth checking out.
A city hideaway with perfect views and close proximity to the Domain and CBD. Beautiful and serene. The condition of Mrs Macquarie herself remains unknown. The chair remains tight lipped as to her whereabouts, being both stubborn and unhelpful.
Incu’s two flagship CBD stores in the Galeries is the place to go for brands like APC, Acne, Rag & Bone, Frame Denim, Equipment, T by Alexander Wang, Karen Walker, Etre Cecil, Bassike and many more. Directly opposite, the Sydney City Men’s store now has APC, Acne, Kenzo, Kitsune, Comme des Garcons PLAY, Saturdays Surf NYC, T by Alexander Wang and Incu’s own label Weathered.
Japanese retailer Muji are masters of a tidy space. Whether you’re looking for a place to stack runaway scissors or lock down loose hair ties, Muji has storage solutions for things you didn’t know you needed.
At this inner CBD joint they’re dealing in yakiniku, a type of Japanese barbecue in which bite-sized, seasoned pieces of meat, seafood and vegetables are cooked on mesh griddles over an open flame. The format allows excess rendered fat to fall back onto the flames, rising to give an extra smoky flavour profile to meats.
This is the kind of whisky collection that would make a strong man weak at the knees. The menu board starts at the ceiling and the three-column list eventually sneaks down under the counter and out of sight. Every Islay, Speyside, Highlands, Lowlands and Campbelltown distillery you can’t pronounce – and the small collection you’re confident with – is there, including rare bottlings and unusual releases.
We've all heard the lowing from our UK expatriate friends about the state of Sydney’s pubs. They're never old enough, cosy enough, or British enough for their liking (the Lord Dudley and the Lord Nelson get close). So what's a former Liverpool boy to do? Open a venue, that’s what, which is why Mikey Enright, gin maestro and owner of the Barber Shop, has extended his booze empire about ten metres to the right with a proper British establishment named the Duke of Clarence.